Brazil closes 2017 with record trade surplus

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

BRASÍLIA, Brazil (AFP) — Brazil's road to economic recovery has passed another milestone, with official data showing yesterday that the country finished 2017 with a record trade surplus 40.5 per cent higher than in the previous year.

The US$67-billion surplus was in line with market projections and within the US$65 -billion to US$70-billion range forecast by the Government.

Brazil's economy is projected to grow two per cent this year, according to an annual report by the United Nations-backed Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean released last month.

That is unspectacular but solid — and far better than the 0.2 per cent expected for 2017, or the two years of its worst-ever recession preceding that.

The Government's own projections are slightly more optimistic: three per cent in 2018 and 1.1 per cent in 2017.

Economy Minister Henrique Meirelles said last month that the improvement was owed to better “fiscal control, the approval of a freeze on public spending, and reforms in general”.

The country's key interest rate is now at a record low of seven per cent — half of what it was in late 2016. Inflation is now considered a minimal risk.

Brazil's centre-right president, Michel Temer, has spearheaded austerity cuts, looser labour laws, and a big privatisation programme to boost the economy, Latin America's largest.

But Temer remains unpopular with voters, clouding the political outlook ahead of the presidential election this year.

The front-runners for the election so far are leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and right-wing former army officer Jair Bolsonaro. Neither man is much welcomed by investors.




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon