The trade surplus of Brazil in February was US$ 1.15 billion, an increase of 43% over the surplus in February of last year. In February, Brazil exported goods worth US$ 18.028 billion and imported goods worth US$ 16.313 billion.
This was the best result for the month since 2009. The cumulative trade surplus for the year is now US$ 423 million, with exports totaling US$ 34.169 billion and imports US$ 33.46 billion. In January, Brazil had a trade deficit.
So far this year, the United States has been the main destination of Brazilian exports, US$ 4.6 billion, followed by China and Argentina, US$ 4 billion and US$ 3.1 billion, respectively.
China led in sales to Brazil, US$ 2.64 billion, followed by the United States, US$ 2.36 billion, and Germany, US$ 1.12 billion.`
Brazil started 2012 with a record monthly current account deficit of US$ 7.086 billion. That is more than the Central Bank forecast of US$ 6.7 billion, and well above the January 2011 deficit of US$ 5.584 billion.
In fact, it is the highest current account deficit for January since the Central Bank began keeping records.
Also in January, there was a trade deficit of US$ 1.292 billion and the so-called services account (international travel, transportation, equipment rentals) had a deficit of US$ 3.39 billion.
The revenues account (remittances of profits and dividends, interest payments and salaries) had a deficit of US$ 2.575 billion.
Foreign direct investment, at US$ 5.433 billion, was not sufficient to cover the deficits.
There is also the so-called portfolio account, foreign investments in stocks and bonds, which totaled US$ 4.932 billion.
At the annual ceremony last week on Ash Wednesday for the rollout of this year’s Fraternity Campaign by the National Confederation of Catholic Bishops (CNBB), Brazil’s minister of Health, Alexandre Padilha, responded to criticism of the public health system and recent cuts in his budget by pointing out that even after the recent budget cut of some 5.4 billion reais announced by the government, he has 72 billion reais, which is 17% more funding than he had last year.
“The nominal increase of 13 billion reais over our funding last year is the biggest the Ministry of Health has received since the year of 2000, and it means that none of our programs will be affected,” the minister emphasized.
Padilha went on to say that with the theme of the Fraternity Campaign this year focused on the public health system he was certain the discussion of funding for the system would have more insight and depth.