UPDATE 1-Brazil posts bigger than expected April surplus

* Brazil posts April primary surplus of 19.8 bln reais

* Surplus widens sharply from April 2009

(Recasts, adds nominal data and context)

BRASILIA, May 27 (BestGrowthStock) – Brazil posted a much
bigger-than-expected primary budget surplus in April as solid
growth in Latin America’s largest economy helps the government
get its public accounts back in order.

Brazil posted a consolidated primary budget surplus
(BRPSPS=ECI: ) of 19.8 billion reais ($10.8 billion) in April,
the central bank said on Thursday, much higher than the 11.95
billion reais surplus of April last year. The consolidated data
includes budget numbers for the federal and regional levels of
government and state-controlled companies.

The government was expected to post a primary surplus of
15.5 billion reais, according to the median estimate of 13
economists surveyed by Reuters. Estimates for the surplus
ranged from 8.9 billion to 18.6 billion reais.

The primary budget surplus, which excludes interest
payments, is seen as a gauge of a country’s ability to service
its debt.

The result was also a vast improvement from March, when the
government suffered a primary deficit of 216 million reais.

The country’s overall budget (BRBUD=ECI: ) also improved,
returning to a surplus. Brazil posted a nominal budget surplus
of 5.3 billion reais in April compared to a 940 million reais
deficit in the same month a year ago.

Brazil’s public accounts struggled last year as the
tail-end of a recession and tax breaks to key industries ate
into government revenue.

But rapid economic growth seems to be helping government
revenue only weeks after it announced additional cuts to the
2010 budget to help prevent the economy from overheating.

In the 12 months through April, Brazil posted a primary
budget surplus equal to 2.17 percent of gross domestic product,
from 1.94 percent in the year through March.

($1=1.836 reais)

(Reporting by Isabel Versiani and Fernando Exman; Writing
by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

UPDATE 1-Brazil posts bigger than expected April surplus