Brazil Trade Surplus Falls Less Than Expected on Import Drop
Exports exceed imports by $3.23 billion, compared with $3.89 billion a year earlier, the Trade Ministry said today on its website. The figure compares with a median forecast of $3 billion in a Bloomberg survey of 22 analysts. Exports fell 14.4 percent to $22.4 billion, while imports slid 14 percent to 19.2 billion.
Global economic weakness has reduced exports even as policy makers implement measures aimed at helping manufacturers. Industrial output fell 2.5 percent in the second quarter on Europe’s debt crisis and an economic slowdown in China, Brazil’s largest trading partner. The administration of President Dilma Rousseff has taken steps that have weakened the real more than any major currency this year in efforts to make local industry more competitive.
Slower economic growth is also reducing demand for imported goods. Gross domestic product will expand 1.64 percent in 2012, according to the median estimate in a central bank survey of about 100 analysts published today, down from the previous estimate of 1.73 percent.
Since August, government officials have reduced the benchmark interest rate more than any other G-20 nation to record lows, cut taxes on automobiles and consumer goods and encouraged lending to spur growth. Government measures helped boost vehicle sales to 364,196 in July from 257,887 in April, while retail sales in June increased the fastest since January.
To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Malinowski in Santiago at email@example.com.
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