Brazil’s cumulative trade surplus so far this year stands at US$ 22.501 billion. This result correponds to 72.58% of the US$ 31 billion trade surplus that financial markets are now forecasting for 2004 as a whole.
From January through September 5, overall exports amounted to US$ 62.730 billion, while imports came to US$ 40.228 billion. In terms of averages per business day, exports were up 32.5% compared with the same period last year, while imports grew 27.7%, on the same basis.
In the first week of September (1-5), Brazil sold more than it bought. The difference between US$ 1.376 billion in exports and US$ 825 million in imports generated a surplus of US$ 551 million.
The daily averages in September, in comparison with September, 2003, rose 38.6% in the case of exports and 31.1% in the case of imports. In comparison with August, 2004, the daily averages were up 11.4% and 7.6%, respectively, for exports and imports.
The primary surplus target (revenues minus expenditures, excluding interest payments) will remain unaltered, if it is up to the Minister of Finance, Antônio Palocci, who talked about the subject last month.
“The government has already firmed a surplus at levels Brazil needs in the coming years,” he affirmed.
According to the Minister, the primary surplus target equivalent to 4.25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has shown itself to be effective, since the ratio between government debt and the GDP has demonstrated “a very significant downward tendency.”
“If we look back ten years, this curve took a turn upwards and kept rising. But now (with the current primary surplus), we can already discern a downward trend,” the Minister said.
The Minister added that the government continues to study new measures to reduce the country’s tax burden. He said that the economic team believes that there is some room for tax adjustments. Palocci affirmed, however, that a complete tax “design” for 2004 is still not ready.
On the other hand, he cited as a positive sign the revenues obtained from other taxes, which have expanded with the growth in economic activity. According to Palocci, this increment has allowed the government to work with tax adjustment measures that will be beneficial to economic activity.