UPDATE 1-Brazil could alter budget surplus tally – minister

* Plan has surfaced before as way to attain goal

* Spending has surged amid election year

* So far, primary surplus/GDP ratio is short of target
(Rewrites, adds comments, background on accounting of
investments, surplus in paragraphs 1-5)

SAO PAULO, Aug 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Brazil could exclude up to 15
billion reais ($8.5 billion) of expenses from President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva’s flagship infrastructure program to meet
the government’s most-widely followed fiscal target, Budget and
Planning Minister Paulo Bernardo said on Monday.

The move, which would book expenses with infrastructure as
a nonrecurring event, will be analyzed next month, Bernardo
said. By excluding such expenses from the calculation of the
so-called primary budget surplus, the government would be able
to make needed capital expenditures and still officially meet
the budget target.

“There is a value of 12 billion reais to 15 billion reais
that we could exclude from the calculation of the surplus, but
that is just one of the possibilities,” Bernardo told reporters
in Sao Paulo.

The government’s primary budget surplus is the excess of
revenue versus expenses, excluding interest payments. For
years, Brazil’s debt was the largest among emerging market
economies, and investors used the surplus as a gauge of fiscal
responsibility.

The government this year is targeting a primary surplus of
3.3 percent of gross domestic product. In the 12 months through
June the primary surplus was 2.07 percent of GDP.

Spending has soared over the past 12 months partly because
Lula has been accelerating planning and execution of $440
billion in infrastructure projects in his Acceleration Growth
Program.

(Reporting by Aluisio Alves; Writing by Luciana Lopez and
Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

UPDATE 1-Brazil could alter budget surplus tally – minister