(Replaces Portuguese language story with English)
BRASÍLIA, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Brazil’s central government posted a primary budget surplus of 10.405 billion reais ($3.61 billion) in January, the country’s Treasury said on Thursday.
The central government account, which covers federal ministries, the central bank and social security, posted a primary surplus of 1.039 billion reais in December.
The primary surplus tends to be high in January due to seasonal factors, but this print was the lowest for the month since 2009 as tax revenues dropped.
High public spending and a slew of tax breaks have depleted the country’s savings in the last three years, forcing President Dilma Rousseff to unveil unpopular austerity measures in a bid to avoid losing the country’s investment grade rating.
The central bank is scheduled to release on Friday the country’s consolidated fiscal results, which includes states, municipalities and some state-owned companies. It is regarded as the benchmark for Brazil’s fiscal performance.
$1 = 2.8859 Brazilian reais By Luciana Otoni; Editing by Alden Bentley