Brazil’s balance of payments (revenues minus expenditures, excluding interest payments) yielded a US$ 3.576 billion surplus in March, raising the total for the first quarter to US$ 10.394 billion.
The figures for March reflect positive results in current transactions (US$ 1.758 billion) and the financial account (US$ 1.561 billion). The stellar performer, once again, was the trade balance, with exports surpassing imports by US$ 3.349 billion.
These figures appear in the March External Sector report, released today by the Central Bank (BC).
The report highlights last month’s inflow of US$ 1.402 billion in net foreign direct investments, doubling the amount invested in March, 2004, and helping to boost the cumulative total for the January-March quarter to US$ 3.489 billion.
The BC report also reveals that the country’s net international reserves grew US 2.942 billion in March, from US$ 59.017 billion, in February, to US$ 61.960 billion.
This increase was the consequence of net purchases by the BC on the domestic market and sales of Global 15 bonds abroad, minus amortization of part of the debt owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The External Sector report, prepared by the BC’s Economic Department, also contains an estimate of US$ 199.797 billion for Brazil’s foreign debt in January, US$ 1.577 billion less than the US$ 201.274 billion registered in December, 2004.
Medium and long-term debt amounts to US$ 180.3 billion, while short-term commitments correspond to US$ 19.5 billion.