UPDATE 1-Brazil central gov't posts widest primary gap in 8 months

jueves 25 de junio de 2015 16:55 GYT

(Recast, adds Treasury chief comments and context)

BRASILIA, June 25 (Reuters) - Brazil's central government recorded its widest monthly primary budget deficit in 8 months in May, nearly wiping out the surplus of the previous month as tax revenues plummet.

The country had a primary deficit of 8.051 billion reais ($2.58 billion)in May, the country's treasury said on Thursday, down sharply from a surplus of 10.085 billion reais in April.

Despite a flurry of tax hikes and spending cuts President Dilma Rousseff is struggling to save enough money to meet its 2015 fiscal goal, which is considered key to regain the trust of investors after years of heavy public spending.

Treasury chief Marcelo Saintive reiterated on Thursday that it was not appropriate to discuss at this moment lowering the primary target and that the government had new measures in hand to raise revenues.

Still, he said the government does not expect to receive dividends from state-controlled companies Petróleo Brasileiro SA and Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA this year.

A shrinking economy that has dragged down tax revenues is compromising the fiscal accounts that were depleted after years heavy public spending under Rousseff.

Federal tax revenues fell 4 percent in real terms in May, sinking to its lowest level for that month in five years.

So far this year the central government has accumulated a surplus of 6.626 billion reais, just 12 percent of its goal in 2015.

The central bank will release the consolidated primary balance, which includes states and municipalities, on Tuesday. ($1 = 3.1207 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Luciana Otoni; Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by Chris Reese and Andrew Hay)