UPDATE 1-Brazil current account deficit widens, above estimates

Fri May 23, 2014 10:19am EDT

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(Recast and adds details on remittances and previous deficits)

BRASILIA May 23 (Reuters) - Brazil's current account deficit was bigger than expected in April due to a jump in the repatriation of profits and dividends by foreign companies, central bank data showed on Friday.

Brazil posted a current account deficit of $8.291 billion in April, above the median forecast for $6.7 billion and the $6.2 billion gap recorded in March.

Foreign companies repatriated $3.291 billion, up sharply from the $2.542 billion sent abroad in April of last year.

Brazilians also continue to spend heavily abroad as the local currency, Brazil's real, has strengthened in recent months. Spending abroad was $1.797 billion in April, up nearly 20 percent from the same month last year.

Despite the larger deficit in April, the current account gap as percentage of GDP remained stable at 3.65 percent.

A rapidly deteriorating trade balance due to lower demand for Brazilian products abroad and strong appetite for imported goods has widened the country's deficit with the rest of the world.

Foreign direct investment in Latin America's largest economy was $5.233 billion in April, below market expectations of $5.4 billion. (Reporting by Alonso Soto and Luciana Otoni; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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