BRASILIA, March 22 Brazil's current account
deficit widened in February from a year earlier as imports
outpaced exports for the second straight month, central bank
data showed on Friday.
Brazil posted a current account gap of $6.6
billion in February, well above the $1.7 billion deficit
registered that same month last year and higher than the median
forecast of $6.1 billion by 20 analysts surveyed by Reuters.
Their forecasts for the deficit ranged from $3 billion to $7.1
Brazil's current account deficit in January climbed to a new
record high of $11.37 billion, the central bank said last month.
Foreign direct investment, which is part of the capital
account of the balance of payments, was $3.8 billion in
February, up from a previously reported $3.7 billion in January
and more than the expected $3.5 billion.
The February FDI fell short of covering the large gap in the
current account, which encompassing trade, profit remittances,
interest payments and other items like tourism.
Brazil, a major soybean and iron ore produce. posted a
larger-than-expected trade deficit of $1.276 billion in February
as imports surged to a record high for the month. It had posted
a deficit of $4 billion in January, the largest on record.
Government officials have said the large deficits are due to
accounting changes which tallied billions of dollars of fuel
imports from 2012 in this year's balance and seasonal factors.
However, some say the country's trade balance could remain
under pressure this year as the domestic currency has
appreciated so far this year nd robust consumption should keep
demand for imports strong in the South American country.
"Based on our out-of-consensus forecast of a stronger
economy and stronger real in 2013, we believe import values
could surprise on the upside, further reducing the trade
balance," analysts with Nomura Securities said in a research
note published on Thursday.