Brazil posted its first trade gap in 10 months in November as exports fell more than expected and imports gained.
The trade deficit was $186 million last month, compared with a $1.7 billion surplus in October, the Trade Ministry said in a report published today on its website. Economists forecast a surplus of $500 million, according to the median estimate from 21 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Exports fell to $20.5 billion from $21.8 billion in October, lower than the median forecast of $21 billion in a Bloomberg survey of 12 analysts. Imports rose to $20.7 billion, from $20.1 billion.
In recent weeks, President Dilma Rousseff’s administration has stepped up measures weaken the real, encouraging exports by making manufacturers more competitive against cheaper imports. Stimulus measures have also stoked private consumption and propped up demand for imports. Since August 2011, policy makers have cut the benchmark interest rate to a record low, reduced taxes on consumer goods and lowered bank reserve requirements to free up billions of reais for credit.
Even as authorities try to revive the world’s second largest emerging market, Brazil’s gross domestic product in the third quarter expanded at half the pace forecast by economists.
After growing 7.5 percent in 2010 and 2.7 percent last year, Brazil’s economy will grow 1.27 percent this year, according to the latest central bank survey of about 100 economists.
Swap rates on the contract maturing in January 2015, the most traded in Sao Paulo today, fell six basis points to 7.77 percent at 3:20 p.m. local time. The real rose 0.8 percent to 2.1181 per U.S. dollar.
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