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BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's Social Democratic Party (PSD) has invited Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles to be its candidate in the 2018 presidential race, the party's leader in the lower house of Congress said on Wednesday.

Marcos Montes said Meirelles received the invitation with "enthusiasm" but did not respond immediately. Reuters reported late in August, citing a source close to the minister, that he wanted to run for president on the PSD ticket, but knew he would only have a strong chance if the economy improved substantially.

(Reporting by Silvio Cascione and Mateus Maia; Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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