Brazil: Current account surplus narrows in May
June 26, 2018
Brazil’s current account balance came in at a surplus of USD 729 million in May, below the USD 2.8 billion surplus registered in the same month a year prior, but up from April’s downwardly revised USD 520 million surplus (previously reported: USD 620 million). The print was below market expectations of a USD 870 million surplus.
The narrower current account surplus in May compared to the previous year was primarily due to the effects of a trucker strike, which impacted several key areas of the economy. As a result, exports contracted in annual terms for the first time since December 2016, falling 2.8% in May (April: +12.7% year-on-year). Meanwhile, import growth moderated to 9.3% in May from April’s robust 28.7% expansion. Foreign direct investment came in at USD 3.0 billion in May, above May 2017’s USD 2.9 billion.
The 12-month accumulative current account deficit widened in May to USD 13.0 billion from April’s revised USD 11.0 billion deficit (previously reported: USD 8.9 billion). May’s result represented approximately 0.7% of GDP.
Brazil Current Account Balance
Analysts who participated in this month’s LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect a current account deficit of 1.0% of GDP in 2018. For 2019, panelists expect the current account deficit to widen to 1.7% of GDP.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist