Brazil falls far short of 2012 primary budget surplus target

BRASILIA Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:35am EST

BRASILIA Jan 30 (Reuters) - Brazil failed to reach its primary budget surplus goal last year in an expected miss that has raised worries about the government's commitment to the fiscal discipline that helped the Latin American giant secure a decade of economic stability.

Brazil posted a primary surplus of 104.951 billion reais ($53 billion) last year, the equivalent of 2.38 percent of gross domestic product, according to central bank data released on Wednesday. That is way below the annual target of 139.8 billion reais, or about 3.1 percent of GDP.

For months officials have said the country was not going to meet the target after the government handed out billions of dollars in tax incentives last year to revive an economy struggling with high production costs and a fragile global outlook.