Brazil’s Silva Would Cut Spending

Brazil’s Silva Would Cut SpendingBrazil’s Silva Would Cut Spending

Marina Silva would push for large budget cuts and end a central bank foreign exchange program aimed at supporting the currency if she is elected Brazil’s next president in October, a senior economic adviser told Reuters on Thursday.

Alexandre Rands, an economist who helped draft Silva’s economic plan, said she could cut up to 100 billion reais ($43 billion) - or about 2 percent of gross domestic product - in budget spending next year to send a strong signal to investors worried about the deterioration of public finances.

“Our priority is not to cut spending for the sake of it. Our priority is to control inflation in order to create an environment that will allow Brazil to grow more,” he said in an interview that provided some of the most specific guidance yet about Silva’s financial policies.

Silva, an environmentalist whom polls show is running neck-to-neck with President Dilma Rousseff in a likely runoff next month, has encouraged many investors with her market-friendly economic platform, which includes giving the central bank full independence.

A sluggish economy and growing fiscal deficits during Rousseff’s four years in office has cost Brazil a downgrade of its debt rating and scared off some investors who say the leftist leader is too interventionist.

Rands said Silva would eliminate many of the economic distortions that have dragged the once-booming Brazilian economy into recession.

He mentioned the central bank’s currency intervention scheme, which has kept the real stronger since last year, as one of those distortions that will be corrected under Silva.

“That does not mean that you cannot carry out small, temporary actions to eliminate volatility,” Rands said.

The real weakened slightly in late trading due to Rands’ comments, traders said.

Since last August, Brazil’s central bank has intervened daily in the foreign exchange market by selling currency swaps, derivatives designed to support the real.