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Brazil's Congress loosens 2014 fiscal goal in bruising vote BRASILIA: President Dilma Rousseff won a hard-fought victory in Brazil's Congress early on Thursday with the passage of legislation that frees her administration from complying with its fiscal savings goal for this year.The amendment to the budget law, approved in a heated 17-hour joint session of Congress, allows her government to deduct infrastructure investments and tax breaks to lower the primary surplus goal to one tenth of its original level.Since narrowly winning re-election in October, Rousseff has vowed more fiscal discipline and picked a fiscal hawk as her next finance minister to regain the trust of investors and avert a credit rating downgrade.Her government continues to send mixed signals, however. On Wednesday, it approved a 30 billion reais ($11.7 billion) loan to state development bank BNDES, a transfer that has been widely criticized in the past for increasing Brazil's debt burden.Fiscal accounts have deteriorated on Rousseff's watch to the point ...

Venezuela's president says oil prices could fall further CARACAS: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday that prices could fall further for oil, the cash-strapped country's chief source of revenue."Today it is at $61 ... It had gone up $2 and then it came back down to $61, and it could fall a little more," he said, referring to the country's petroleum export basket, which trades at a discount to other benchmarks because of its heavy oil content.Crude oil prices have tumbled about ...
Brazil's Rousseff promises fiscal discipline to investors SAO PAULO: President Dilma Rousseff said in a letter to investors that one of the main priorities of her second term will be to put Brazil's fiscal accounts in order, sending a strong message that her administration will adopt more market-friendly policies. In a letter that was read on Tuesday to investors at a JP Morgan conference, Rousseff gave the clearest backing as of yet to her future finance minister, Joaquim Levy, a known fiscal ...
Venezuela faces hyperinflation threat CARACAS: Gloomily watching their money shrink in value, Venezuelans don't need government statistics to tell them what they already know: their country is facing the looming risk of hyperinflation.Breaking its own regulations, the Venezuelan central bank has stopped publishing the official inflation rate, which stood at 63.4 percent at the end of August.Since then, prices have only continued to rise, as the South American oil giant feels the pinch of falling crude prices and struggles ...
Colombia rebels free captured general, two others BOGOTA: Colombia's leftist FARC guerrillas freed an army general Sunday in a concession to revive peace talks, but the president refused to budge on their calls for a ceasefire.Two weeks after sending the peace process into crisis by capturing Brigadier General Ruben Alzate, their highest-ranking captive in 50 years of conflict, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia handed him and two other army captives over to the Red Cross in the jungle-covered department of Choco."Freed... ...
Brazil's president names pro-market finance minister BRASïLIA: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff named pro-market bank executive Joaquim Levy to be her new finance minister Thursday as her government looks to steer the economy out of recession.Levy, a University of Chicago-trained economist, is a popular choice in the financial world, where Rousseff's management of the world's seventh-largest economy has been widely attacked.At a press conference where the president's new economic team was announced -- with central bank chief Alexandre Tombini keeping his job ...
Venezuela's Maduro pursues push for OPEC output cut CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday he would keep pushing OPEC to cut oil output to boost sliding crude prices after the cartel opted not to slash production -- a move backed by Caracas.OPEC had faced pressure from several of its poor members, notably Venezuela, to reduce production quotas but the 12-nation cartel's powerful Gulf members rejected calls to turn down the taps. "We have not succeeded yet, but... we will continue to try ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $16.137 bln