I confirm, as far as the IMF is concerned, Minister Malan’s statement. I am personally very satisfied with the conversations that IMF staff and management have had over the last weekend with Minister Malan and the Brazilian team. The discussions were comprehensive and constructive and provided useful clarification of the policy stance of the Brazilian authorities.
I welcome in particular the confirmation that monetary policy will be aimed at preserving low inflation, the paramount objective of the real plan. I also welcome the reaffirmation of fiscal consolidation as the foremost priority of the Brazilian government together with the structural and privatization measures that are part of the agreed program with the IMF.
The dialogue between the IMF and the Brazilian authorities will be pursued actively over the coming days, and an IMF mission will visit Brasilia promptly to proceed with the program review envisaged by end-February and establish a new macroeconomic and monetary framework.
Excerpts from the statement issued by Pedro Malan, finance minister of Brazil, on January 18, appear on page 18.