Exports Are Silver Lining in Brazil’s Grim Industrial Output

Brazilian industrial production in the last quarter of 2005 was what it was in the second and third quarters: flat. The National Industrial Confederation (Confederação Nacional da Indústria) (CNI), which surveyed the sector, reports that the good news is that inventories were down for the first time in almost a year.

Renato Fonseca, the executive manager of the CNI survey, says that even with the downturn in the size of inventories there is still no room for an upturn in production. "We hope that will happen later in the first quarter of 2006," he declared.

But Fonseca reports that the survey found sector optimism regarding growth is the lowest since 1999. Even so, it is expected that at least the export sector will continue to turn in a solid performance for the first half.

In the fourth week of January, the trade balance presented a positive result (surplus) of US$ 817 million, from exports of US$ 2.322 billion and import of US$ 1.505 billion. The accumulated surplus is US$ 2.566 billion.

In the year, the trade balance already includes exports of US$ 8.457 billion, 19.3% more than in the same period in 2005 (US$ 7.444 billion) and imports totalled US$ 5.891 billion.

The information was disclosed Monday, January 30, by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.

ABr

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