UPDATE 1-Brazil, Colombia may be upgraded by summer-Moody’s

* Brazil sending positive fiscal signs, jury out on budget

* Moody’s optimistic on Colombia speeding up growth

* Peru on “steady path” to future credit upgrades
(Adds quotes from Moody’s analyst, background, byline)

By Walter Brandimarte

NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) – Moody’s will decide whether
to raise Brazil and Colombia’s credit ratings before summer,
while Peru is on a “steady path” for more upgrades in the next
few years, analyst Patrick Esteruelas said on Thursday.

Brazil and Colombia both have a positive rating outlook
from Moody’s, and an upgrade would put Colombia in the coveted
group of countries with an investment grade status.

Brazil’s upgrade from its Baa3 rating will depend on the
new government’s ability to reverse a “spending binge” by
former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2010, Esteruelas
said.

“Brazil suddenly has been emitting positive (fiscal)
signals since the inauguration of (President Dilma) Rousseff,”
Esteruelas said in an event organized by the Andean-American
associations in New York.

“But the jury is still out over the government willingness
and capacity to implement this year’s budget,” he said.

Brazil last week announced a 50 billion reais ($30 billion)
spending cut to its 2011 budget, as part of an effort to curb
inflation.

Esteruelas said Moody’s is “bullish” on Colombia’s ability
to address the obstacles to faster economic growth.

Unlike in Brazil and Peru, Colombia’s economy has been
growing at a more modest pace since Venezuela curbed imports
from its neighbor, forcing Colombian exporters to look for
alternative markets.

Peru, although currently with a stable rating outlook by
Moody’s, is on track for future upgrades due to its strong
economic growth and responsible fiscal management, the analyst
said.

Key for such upgrades will be the country’s ability to
improve the economic condition of its population in order to
prevent the ascension of populist, anti-market candidates in
this year’s presidential elections.
(Reporting by Walter Brandimarte; Editing by Andrew Hay)