Brazil: Current account records first surplus in nearly three years in March
Brazil’s current account balance swung to a USD 0.9 billion surplus in March from a USD 2.7 billion deficit registered in March 2019. March’s surplus also contrasted February’s USD 4.3 billion shortfall (previously reported: USD 3.9 bn) and was the first surplus since June 2017.
The reversal in the current account balance was largely due to a smaller primary income deficit and a larger trade surplus in March. Moreover, the services account shortfall narrowed in the month. The merchandise trade surplus increased to USD 4.7 billion from USD 4.3 billion in the same month last year on a sharp rebound in exports and despite stronger import growth. Meanwhile, net foreign direct investment strengthened in March, totaling USD 7.6 billion (March 2019: USD 4.8 bn).
Accordingly, the 12-month sum of the current account balance narrowed to a USD 49.7 billion shortfall, which equates to approximately 2.8% of GDP, from the USD 53.2 billion deficit registered in the 12 months ending in February (2.9% of GDP).