In the last week of April, the main highlights were foreign sector and credit data, in addition to the consolidated public sector accounts.
The Brazilian current account registered a surplus of $1.397 billion in March – the best result for the month since 2005.
In the first quarter of the year, there was a deficit of $4.6 billion for the current account, compared to a deficit of $7.6 billion recorded in the same period of 2016. The improvement was due to a strong trade balance during the period, which went from a surplus of $7.8 billion to $13.8 billion.
On the other hand, the service account had a deficit of 7.4 billion from $6.2 billion and the income account dropped to a deficit of $11.6 billion from $9.9 billion on the same basis of comparison.
On the financing side, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Brazil was at the $7,109 billion mark in March, according to Central Bank data.
From the start of 2017 until the end of March, the inflows of FDI have totalled $23,943 billion. The Central Bank estimates this should hit $75 billion before the end of the year. In the 12-month measure up to March this year, the level of FDI was $85,939 billion, which is around 4.5% of GDP.
Direct investment in Brazilian stocks retreated, with outflows of $2,271 billion in March, the Central Bank reported.
In the same month last year, the result was positive at $ 2.027 billion. There were further outflows for fixed income, reaching $59 million in March, a drop of $1,116 billion this the year up to March.
The consolidated public sector registered a deficit of R$ 11 billion in March after a deficit of R$ 23.5 billion in February, underscoring the difficulties in meeting the fiscal target this year.
As a result, the public sector had an accumulated surplus of R$2.2 billion in the year against a deficit of R$ 5.8 billion last year.
During the period, the Central Government recorded a deficit of R$ 14.2 billion while regional governments and public companies were in a surplus of R$ 16.4 billion.
In the 12-month measure, the public sector deficit reached 2.3% of GDP, stable compared to the previous month.
Credit data in March showed the sector still has some way to recover, but there were some positive signs from the concessions side.
The value of loans in Brazil increased 0.2% in March compared to R$3.076 trillion, according to data released by the Central Bank. In the 12-month measure, there was a contraction of 2.7%.
The total balance of non-earmarked credit increased by 0.3% between February and March, to a total of R $ 1.534 trillion. Earmarked credit increased 0.1% in March, reaching a volume of R$ 1.542 trillion.
Total credit issued to households increased 0.6% in March and 3.7% in the 12-month measure, reaching R$ 1.577 trillion. For companies, the balance was down 0.3%, to R $ 1.5 trillion.
On the concessions side, the result up to the end of March, controlled for by business days in the quarter, fell by 8.1%, compared to the contraction of 14.2% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016.
There was a slowdown in the contraction of individual concessions, which fell by 1.7% compared to -10.2% in the same comparison. For the year as a whole, we expect a gradual improvement in lending, especially during the second half of the year.
Defaults on loans in Brazil had a slight increase in March – the first time in seven months according to the Central Bank, as the effects of the recession continue to bite.
Loans that have not been paid for 90 days or more rose by 5.7% of outstanding non-earmarked credit last month, from 5.6 percent in February. These non-performing loans increased most at state banks, which are responsible for around 56% of lending.
At the same time, loans to companies rose from 5.2% in February to 5.6% in March.
That was last week, but let’s not dwell on the past, make sure you click here to see what is happening in the first week of May.