The Brazilian Central Bank on Tuesday posted 2016 figures for overseas accounts, showing the best performance since 2007. Brazil, last year, registered a current account deficit of $23.5 billion, less than half the $58.9 billion deficit registered in 2015. The 2016 deficit was equal to just 1.3 percent of gross domestic product, the best result since 2007, when the country posted a small current account surplus. The big decline in the current account deficit last year came partly from lower profit and dividend remittances by multinational companies and partly from a rollback in overseas travel spending by Brazilians. But the biggest factor was Brazil’s huge $45 billion trade surplus, up sharply from just $17.7 billion in 2015. Investments also provided a positive note. Foreign direct investment in Brazil rose to $78.9 billion in 2016 from $74.5 billion the previous year. For 2017, economists are predicting a rise in the current account deficit as imports build up on the heels of an expected economic recovery. Overseas travel spending and profit remittances may also rise.
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