Indicators: Forex, trade, car sales up; inflation, industrial output down

A trove of data released this week shows largely positive signs for the Brazilian economy.

The Brazilian trade balance saw a $5.2 billion surplus in September, the best result for the month since this statistical series began in 1989, according to data released Monday by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade, and Services. From January to September this year, the balance showed an accumulated surplus of $53.3 billion — another record figure. The government expects to close out 2017 with a surplus of more than $60 billion.

Also on Wednesday, the Brazilian Central Bank reported that dollar inflows to the country exceeded outflows by $2.54 billion in September. Year-to-date through September, the country has seen a $6.67 billion foreign exchange surplus.

New vehicle sales climbed 24.5% year-on-year in September, the National Federation of Motor Vehicle Distributors (Fenabrave) reported Tuesday. The month saw 199,277 units sold, up from 159,953 in the year-ago month. Year-to-date through September, 1.62 million vehicles were sold in Brazil, up 7.35% from the year-ago period. September sales were down 7.36% from August, which Fenabrave attributed to the month having three holidays; daily average sales exceeded August’s figures.

Also on Tuesday, the Brazilian Central Bank issued its weekly poll of financial institutions, which lowered the Extended National Consumer Price Index year-end forecast to 2.95% from a previous projection of 2.97%. The Selic benchmark interest rate, which currently stands at 8.25%, is now forecast to close both 2017 and 2018 at 7%.

On the downside, the Brazilian Census Bureau (IBGE) said Tuesday the country’s industrial production rose 4% from the year-ago month but declined by 0.8% from July, breaking a four-month streak of gains. IBGE said the August decline was limited to a few categories of consumer goods, while durable goods and capital goods stayed on the upswing.

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Sergio Barreto

Brazilian-American editor, web developer and (occasional) event promoter. As founder and content director for this site, I keep an eye on what's wrong with Brazil, but what really makes my heart beat faster is sharing the exciting things happening in Brazilian tech, music, film, and other creative industries.

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