U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 13 mins

Brazil opts for heftier budget freeze to meet fiscal goal

BRASILIA, March 29 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government on Wednesday announced a larger-than-expected spending freeze while opting for smaller tax breaks to meet its fiscal deficit goal.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said the government will freeze 42 billion reais ($13.45 billion) in spending as tax revenues continue to disappoint as the economy slowly emerges from its worst recession in a century.

He said the freeze was larger because the government decided to temporarily drop plans to correct the calculation of debts owed by the federal government. ($1 = 3.1225 reais) (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Leslie Adler)