Brazil: Current account surplus narrows in March
April 25, 2018
Brazil’s current account balance came in at a surplus of USD 798 million in March, lower than the USD 1.4 billion surplus recorded in March 2017. March’s print was up, however, from February’s USD 283 million surplus.
The narrower current account surplus in March compared to the previous year was largely the result of flat export growth that caused the trade surplus to shrink to USD 6.0 billion in March from the USD 7.1 billion surplus registered in March 2017. Export growth was flat in annual terms, moderating from a 11.9% expansion in February. Import growth also lost steam in March, easing to 6.7% (February: +13.7% year-on-year). Foreign direct investment came in at USD 6.5 billion in March, below March 2017’s USD 7.1 billion.
The 12-month accumulative current account deficit widened in March to USD 8.3 billion from USD 7.7 billion in February. March’s result represented approximately 0.4% of GDP.
Brazil Current Account Balance Forecast
Analysts who participated in this month’s LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect a current account deficit of 1.1% of GDP in 2018. For 2019, panelists expect the current account deficit to widen to 1.7% of GDP.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist