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article imageBrazil current account deficit record $81.4 bn in 2013

By AFP     Jan 24, 2014 in Business

Brazil posted a record current account deficit of $81.4 billion in 2013 -- equivalent to 3.66 percent of GDP and almost 50 percent up on 2012, the country's central bank said Friday.

The 2012 deficit was $54.249 billion or 2.41 percent of GDP while the forecast for 2014 is a $78 billion shortfall.

The current account is the main indicator of a country's balance of payments, including not just trade in goods but services, tourism and returns on foreign investments.

The deficit was caused by a shrinking trade surplus as exports tailed off.

But "for 2014, the deficit should be smaller given an improved growth scenario for the world economy," said the bank's assistant economics department coordinator Fernando Rocha.

"That should help to bolster external demand and economic growth," Rocha added.

Brazil's trade balance, or the gap between imports and exports showed a $2.558 billion surplus in 2013 -- but that was down 87 percent on 2012's $19.4 billion.

Incoming direct foreign investment was slightly down year on year at $64.06 billion -- $1.2 billion lower than in 2012.

Spending by Brazilian visitors abroad rose 14 percent to $25.342 billion in 2013, despite a 12.96 percent drop in the value of the real-dollar exchange rate.

Brazil, which showed stellar growth prior to the global economic crisis, has since seen a relative slowdown.

At the end of 2012 the official forecast was of 4.0 percent growth in 2013 but official estimates now are of a final figure of 2.3 percent.

GDP rose a pale 1.0 percent last year with analysts predicting around 2.0 percent for 2014.

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