Brazil leader announces deep cuts in energy costs

September 7, 2012 - 12:40 PM
Brazil Independence Day

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff stands as she attends a military parade on Independence Day in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's president has announced new efforts to boost the nation's sagging economy, this time targeting energy costs for both industry and residential customers.

President Dilma Rousseff says that cuts to federal levies on energy production will result in a 16 percent drop for consumer energy costs — and a cut of up to 28 percent for some in the industrial sector. Details of the plan will be announced next week.

The Eurasia Group says in a research note that the cuts are part of a broader strategy to "spur industrial competitiveness amid lower-than-anticipated growth."

Brazil's National Confederation of Industry says in a statement that the cuts announced late Thursday will significantly help the sector, noting that the energy costs in Latin America's biggest economy are among the most expensive globally.