The central bank issued this morning a communiqué announcing that the exchange rate will now be determined by market forces. Monetary policy will aim at preserving low inflation achieved under the real plan and, in the short term, will respond promptly to significant movements of the exchange rate. Central bank interventions in the foreign exchange markets will be occasional, limited, and designed to counter disorderly market conditions.
In the new exchange rate regime, fiscal and monetary policies will have to play an even more crucial role in ensuring price stability and conditions for sustained growth.
Fiscal consolidation is our first and foremost priority, to which the Brazilian government remains fully committed. No efforts will be spared to reduce the fiscal deficit at all levels of government and produce the fiscal results announced for 1999-2001 in the Fiscal Stability Program. Additional measures will be adopted, as appropriate, to deal with the fiscal impact of the exchange rate devaluation. The federal government is enforcing the agreements concluded with the Brazilian States and has already activated the guarantees contained in those agreements as appropriate.