Brazil announces $20 billion in credit lines

Brasilia, Jan 29 (IANS) Brazilian Finance Minister Nelson Barbosa announced the country was opening up new lines of credit worth 83 billion reais ($20 billion) to boost the country’s flagging economy.

The announcement on Thursday, which came without in-depth details, was made to the Economic and Social Development Council (CDES), a committee of entrepreneurs, union leaders and civil society representative, put together by President Dilma Rousseff to find solutions to the economic crisis, Xinhua reported.

The new lines of credit will be backed by public banks, whose coffers are full after receiving a total of $15 billion in late loan payments from the government in December.

Upon announcing the creation of the CDES last week, Rousseff said the government’s foremost concern was now stemming rising unemployment.

In 2015, Brazil’s GDP contracted by an estimated 3.8 percent, with analysts expecting a further drop of three percent in 2016.

According to Barbosa, the new lines of credit will be accompanied by the creation of a new limit for public spending growth.

On Thursday, the Brazilian Treasury also announced that the central government’s deficit had reached a record level in 2015, reaching 1.94 percent of GDP.

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