January 12, 2018 / 3:45 PM / a year ago

REFILE-S&P sees slower-than-expected fiscal progress in Brazil

(Corrects day of week in first paragraph)

SAO PAULO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Brazil has made slower-than-expected progress in cutting government spending ahead of this year’s presidential elections, a Standard & Poor’s director said on Friday, a day after the ratings agency downgraded the country deeper into junk.

In a webcast, S&P managing director Lisa Schineller highlighted the difficulty of passing an unpopular plan to trim social security spending in an election year. Policymakers in Brazil tend to struggle to pass austerity measures even with strong backing in Congress, she added. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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