BRASILIA Dec 18 Brazil's Finance Minister Guido
Mantega on Wednesday called on U.S. policymakers to start
winding down their monetary stimulus measures sooner rather than
later to reduce market uncertainty that has kept emerging
economies on edge.
The Federal Reserve will decide later on Wednesday whether
it is the right time to start trimming its $85 billion-a-month
bond purchases. The Fed is widely expected to scale back that
stimulus next year, but a growing number of economists believe
policymakers could begin on Wednesday.
Emerging economies like Brazil and India are bracing for the
Fed's decision, which could weaken their currencies and boost
their current account deficits.
"The reduction will cause some volatility in the forex
market, we don't know how much volatility... it will depend on
what the Fed decides," Mantega said.
"I would like for them to do this soon because this
uncertainty creates market turbulence. It is not good to leave
Speaking to reporters in Brasilia, Mantega also said the
government will announce a "clear" fiscal goal for 2014, adding
that this year's fiscal result should be sufficient to keep
lowering the country's debt-to-GDP ratio.
He declined to say whether the government will stick to a
previous primary surplus goal equivalent to 2.1 percent of GDP
in 2014. He said the goal will be announced early next year, but
promised to reduce some expenditures like current spending and
employment benefits to improve finances.
He acknowledged that last-minute financial operations to
bolster fiscal results in 2012 lacked transparency, but promised
to stay away from such moves, which some analysts say hurt the
government's fiscal credibility.
"We have all the conditions to continue to deliver results
that bring down the country's net debt," Mantega said.
He added that a more "favorable" exchange rate will help the
domestic industry next year as well as the farming sector.