Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday denied any “leftward swing” in her administration’s social and economic policies, saying fiscal austerity continues as the nation’s highest priority. Rousseff met with reporters for an annual January breakfast and interview. “No leftward swing was every under discussion,” she said, responding to press reports the administration would press for higher government spending and lower interest rates. “The fiscal adjustment continues as our chief focus,” she added. The President said her administration was determined to fight down inflation, currently running at 10.5%. She said she will fight “tooth and nail” to pull the inflation rate down to 6.5% by the end of the year. She re-iterated recent statements by Finance Minister Nelson Barbosa regarding the need for reforms in the retirement system, including higher minimum age requirements and other belt-tightening measures.
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