* Current account gap in March doubles from a year ago
* FDI beats expectations, climbs to $5.739 bln
BRASILIA, April 24 Brazil posted its worst
current account deficit for March on record as shrinking exports
and an increase in remittances of corporate profits and
dividends hit the South American nation's external accounts.
The country posted a current account deficit of
$6.873 billion in March, more than double the gap registered
that same month a year ago, central bank data showed on
Brazil had been expected to post a deficit of $6 billion,
according to the median forecast of 16 analysts in a Reuters
survey. Its current account deficit in February was $6.625
billion, the central bank said last month.
Foreign direct investment in Latin America's largest economy
was $5.739 billion in March, above market expectations of $4.2
Although FDI remains strong in the commodities powerhouse,
it has not been enough to cover a widening current account
deficit so far this year.
The central bank has forecast a current account deficit of
$67 billion in 2013 and an FDI of $65 billion.
Brazil, a major soybean and iron ore producer, posted the
smallest trade surplus for the month of March since 2001,
largely due to a drop in oil exports and an increase in the
purchase of petroleum derivatives.
Companies operating in Brazil repatriated $2.732 billion in
profits and dividends to their headquarters abroad, well above
the $1.965 billion repatriated a year ago.
In the 12 months through March, the current account deficit
was equivalent to 2.93 percent of gross domestic product, the
highest result since August 2002.