SAO PAULO – The Brazilian Congress is debating a bill that would allow the government to miss this year's primary budget surplus.
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A vote had been expected Tuesday night, but was suspended after protesters, members of Congress and security guards clashed and disrupted the session. Debate continued Wednesday.
The primary surplus was set at 1.9 percent of gross domestic product, meaning the government would need to report $38.5 billion over expenditure before debt payments.
Financial markets monitor this indicator to determine a country's ability to repay loans.
The proposed bill would allow the government to abandon the surplus goal altogether after Brazil accumulated a deficit of nearly $6 billion during the first nine months of the year.