BRAZIL PRIMARY BUDGET SURPLUS BEATS EXPECTATIONS.
Brazil's budget surplus excluding debt-servicing more than doubled in February from a year earlier, thanks to a combination of rising tax collections and restrained payroll spending, the central bank data said. The so-called consolidated primary budget surplus, which includes federal and regional governments and state companies, widened to 7.91 billion reais ($4.9 billion) last month compared to 3.18 billion reais in the year-earlier period. The primary surplus came far above the 4.25 billion reais expected in a Reuters poll of 12 analysts. It was the biggest for the month of February, since the bank began tracking the data in the current format in 2001. The wider primary surplus helped keep the nominal budget deficit relatively stable at 11.20 billion reais in February versus 11.09 billion reais in the same month a year before.