Brazil: Current account swings to surplus in February
March 23, 2018
Brazil’s current account balance came in at a surplus of USD 283 million in February, a notable improvement from the USD 945 million deficit recorded in February 2017. February’s result marked the first surplus after four months of deficits.
Behind the current account’s reading was a larger trade surplus, which came in at USD 4.9 billion in February (February 2017: USD 4.6 billion). Exports rose 11.9% over the same month of the previous year, moderating slightly from January’s 13.8% increase. However, imports growth also lost steam, coming in at 13.7% (January: +16.5% year-on-year) and driving the improved trade balance. Foreign direct investment came in at USD 4.7 billion in February, below February 2017’s USD 5.3 billion.
The 12-month accumulative current account deficit continued to improve in February, reaching a multi-year low. It narrowed to USD 7.8 billion from USD 9.0 billion in January. February’s result represents 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 1.2% of GDP in 2018. For 2019, panelists expect the current account deficit to widen to 1.7% of GDP.