Brazil posted a record foreign trade surplus in 2016 of $47.7 billion, the Trade and Development Ministry said Monday. The surplus far surpassed that of 2015, when exports exceeded imports by $19.7 billion. The surplus was also higher than the previous record, set in 2006, of $46.5 billion. However, the 2016 record performance came largely at the expense of a sharp decline in imports. Hurt by the second year of recession, imports plunged 20.1% in 2016 against the previous year. Exports were also down, but only by 3.5%. For 2017, economists are looking for a solid rise in imports as Brazil begins a long-awaited recovery. Exports are likely to rise marginally on higher commodities prices. The net should be another trade surplus but not as high as the 2016 record.
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