Business

Brazil's deficit jumps sharply as recession bites

Brazilian shoppers Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brazilian consumers face tough choices in the midst of a deep recession

Brazil's deficit jumped in November to one of the highest levels on record as state finances came under increasing strain amid a deep recession.

The public sector deficit - the difference between what the government spends and what it receives in revenues - rose to 19.6bn reais ($5.1bn).

This was worse than expected and much higher than October's 11.5bn reais.

The government is struggling to increase tax revenues as the economy continues to shrink.

Between July and September, the economy contracted by 1.7% compared with the previous quarter, deepening the country's worst recession in 25 years.

The economy has shrunk in all but one of the last six quarters.

Unemployment has risen sharply this year and now stands at 7.5%, putting a further strain on government finances.

Inflation is also running at more than 10%, undermining the value of Brazilians' savings and their ability to spend.

Brazil's economy has been hit hard by a slowdown in global demand - particularly in China - for its commodities, while a corruption scandal centred on state oil giant Petrobras has severely damaged investor confidence.

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