External sector statistics

PRESS RELEASE - May 24, 2018

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1. Balance of payments

In April 2018, the current account posted a surplus of US$620 million, slightly below the April 2017 surplus of US$1.1 billion. This year-over-year surplus reduction increased the 12-month cumulative deficit in current transactions to US$8.9 billion until April, equivalent to 0.43% of GDP (US$8.3 billion until March, equivalent to 0.41% of GDP).

The trade balance turned in a surplus of US$5.5 billion in April 2018, US$1.2 billion below the April 2017 surplus, due to the acceleration of imports. The total deficit in the service account reached US$2.7 billion in the month, an expansion of 7.3% when compared with April 2017. Net expenditures on transportation and travel continued on an upward trend, reaching US$534 million and US$1 billion in the month, respectively. Conversely, net expenditures on equipment rentals continued on a downward trend, totaling US$1.3 billion in the month and US$5 billion in the four-month period (14.9% lower than in January-April 2017). As for the primary income account, net interest expenditures totaled US$1.2 billion in the month (US$2.3 billion in April 2017, when there were anticipations of interest payments). Net profit expenditures totaled US$1.2 billion in April, an increase of 26.4% when compared with the same month of the previous year.

Foreign direct investments (FDI) totaled net inflows of US$2.6 billion in April, accumulating US$61.7 billion (3.03% of GDP) over the last 12 months. Practically the overall inflows were due to the equity ownership modality, US$2.4 billion. Despite the recent downward trajectory, FDI remains as the main funding source of the balance of payments.

In April 2018, net inflows of stocks, investment funds and fixed income securities negotiated on the domestic market totaled US$5.4 billion, partially offsetting net outflows of US$7.8 billion observed in the previous month. Despite the volatility of monthly flows, 12-month cumulative flows indicate net inflows of US$6.6 billion until April, which represents a significant improvement in comparison with the previous year.

The rollover rate - defined as the percentage of disbursements divided by amortizations, considering long-term loans and securities placed on the foreign market - closed at 95% in April and 79% in the first four months of 2018.

The financial gap was positive at US$11.2 billion in the month, which represents a surplus in the balance of payments. The excess of resources was divided between growth of financial sector's foreign assets by US$9.7 billion, and expansion of international reserves by US$1.5 billion. In the year, until April, the financial gap was positive at US$9.9 billion.

2. International reserves

The stock of international reserves reached US$380 billion in April 2018, accounting for 3.74 times the volume of foreign debt maturities (excluding intercompany transactions and fixed income securities negotiated on the domestic market) expected for the next twelve months. As for the increase of US$402 million in the stock of reserves observed in the month, the following items should be highlighted: net return on repurchase operations, US$1.5 billion, and interest income of US$486 million. Simultaneously, the price and parity variations contributed to reduce the stock of reserves by US$1 billion and US$674 million, respectively.