Brazil posted a spectacular rise in foreign direct investment in January, partly due to utilities industry acquisitions and partly from retooling by manufacturers ahead of a hoped-for economic recovery, the Central Bank said Friday. Foreign direct investment in January was $11.5 billion, the highest figure for the month of January since the current methodology was first used in 1995. By contrast, FDI in January 2016 was $5.5 billion. The January figure brought 12-month FDI up to a spectacular $85 billion. Total FDI in 2016 totaled $78.9 billion. Comparatively cheap assets have made Brazil the object of overseas interest in acquisitions, especially among cash-strapped utilities. But multinational companies are also investing in manufacturing capacity as Brazil gears up for a recovery following two years of recession. FDI is more than compensating for Brazil’s modest current account deficits. The current account deficit in January was $5.1 billion for a 12-month figure of $23.8 billion. The current account deficit in 2007 was $23.5 billion, the best performance for overseas Brazilian accounts since 2007. Current account performance has also been aided by rising trade surpluses. Brazil posted a January trade surplus of $2.5 billion. The 2016 trade surplus was a record $47.7 billion.
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