(Recast, adds gross debt projections and context)
BRASILIA Dec 27 Brazil posted its worst-ever
primary budget deficit for the month of November, erasing all of
the gains recorded in the previous month and highlighting the
government's lingering challenge to rebalance the depleted
The country's primary budget deficit was 39.141
billion reais ($11.90 billion) in November, central bank data
showed on Tuesday, wider than the 35.9 billion reais gap
expected in a median forecast of economists in a Reuters poll.
In October, the country had a primary surplus of 39.5
billion reais thanks to revenues from a program that allowed
Brazilians to pay fines and taxes to legalize their undeclared
assets held abroad.
President Michel Temer has vowed to plug the widening budget
deficit that has cost the once-booming economy its
investment-grade rating and complicated an incipient recovery
after two years of recession.
Despite the steep deficit in November, the government is
widely expected to meet its deficit target of 163.9 billion
reais in 2016. For next year, the government aims for a deficit
of 143 billion reais.
The country's public sector gross debt remained stable at
70.5 percent of gross domestic product in November.
For 2017, the central bank expects the country's gross debt
to climb to 76.9 percent of GDP.
($1 = 3.2887 reais)
(Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Writing by Bruno Federowski and
Alonso Soto; Editing by W Simon and JS Benkoe)