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IMF Approves Credit Extension for Brazil - 2003-12-16

The International Monetary Fund has approved a 15-month extension of Brazil's credit agreement and increased the funds by $6.6 billion.

The IMF also released more than $8 billion from the loan program, which was originally approved in September of last year.

The Washington-based lender said in a statement Monday the response of Brazil's new government to financial pressures has been both "ambitious and courageous." The lender said Brazil's monetary and fiscal policies have remained disciplined and that inflation has declined steadily.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office in January, pledging to honor the country's financial commitments, keep inflation low and maintain fiscal stability. He has also said his government will work with the IMF to stabilize Brazil's finances.