Brazil Surplus Reaches US$ 33 Billion on Final Lap

    Brazilian exports contributed to a record-breaking trade surplus of US$ 33.081 billion, with one week left before the final figures are in for the year. The year-end balance will be presented next Monday, January 3, by the Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan.

    According to the survey released December 27 by Brazil’s Central Bank, the financial market reduced its prognosis for this year’s trade surplus from US$ 33 billion to US$ 32.9 billion.


    Nevertheless, the surplus for the year, including this week’s five business days, could conceivably reach US$ 34 billion, if last week’s US$ 1.188 billion surplus is repeated.


    Last week’s surplus lifted the cumulative figure for the month to US$ 2.885 billion.


    During the first 18 business days of December, exports totaled US$ 7.618 billion, for a daily average of US$ 423.2 million, while imports came to US$ 4.733 billion, for a daily average of US$ 262.9 million.


    According to a bulletin issued by the Secretariat of Foreign Trade, there was a an average increase of 31.1% in exports and 29.1% in imports.


    Foreign Investment


    Foreign direct investment, which came to US$ 9.256 billion (25 billion reais) in the third quarter of 2004, was up significantly in comparison with the same period last year, when it totaled US$ 3.2 billion (8.7 billion reais).


    In the third quarter of this year the federal government sold approximately US$ 852 million (2.3 billion reais) in bonds on the foreign market, while the private sector was responsible for US$ 107 million (289.1 million reais) in bond emissions.


    The Brazilian economy achieved a net inflow of US$ 2.703 billion (7.3 billion reais), as against US$ 1.925 billion (5.2 billion reais) in the third quarter of 2003.


    Inflation


    Inflation gauged by the Weekly Consumer Price Index (IPC-S) between November 18 and December 17 stood at 0.61%, the same rate as in the period between November 14 and December 13. The index was announced December 27 by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation.


    The food group, which continues to present price rises, had the biggest influence on maintaining inflation at the same level as in the previous reading. Food price inflation was up from 0.17% to 0.27%.


    According to the Getúlio Vargas Foundation’s data, 13 of the 23 food items included in the survey suffered price increases. They were responsible for 73% of overall family food spending.


    Translation: David Silberstein
    Agência Brasil

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