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External accounts have sixth month in September followed by positive balance

External accounts registered a positive balance for the sixth consecutive month in September, of US $ 2.320 billion, informed today (23) the Central Bank (BC). It was the first positive result for September since 2007 (US $ 482 million) and the highest for the month in the historical series started in 1995.

Last year, in the same month, there was a deficit of US $ 2.727 billion in current transactions (external accounts), which are purchases and sales of goods and services and income transfers from Brazil with other countries.

“Following the trend of previous months, this reversal was due to an increase of US $ 2.1 billion in the trade surplus in goods, and reductions of US $ 2.1 billion and US $ 885 million in deficits in primary income [ profits and dividends, interest and wage payments] and services [international travel, transportation, investment rental, among others], respectively ”, says the BC, in a report.

From January to September, there was a current account deficit of US $ 6.476 billion, against US $ 36.748 billion in the same period of 2019.

According to the head of the BC Statistics Department, Fernando Rocha, this reduction in the year-to-date deficit and the positive monthly results are explained by the retraction in demand for goods and services from abroad, due to the crisis generated by the pandemic of covid-19. “The lower demand for imported goods and services reduces the current account deficit,” he explained.

In the 12 months ended in September, there was a current account deficit of US $ 20.7 billion (1.37% of the Gross Domestic Product – GDP), compared to a negative balance of US $ 25.7 billion (1.66% of GDP) in the equivalent period ended in August.

Trade balance

Exports of goods totaled US $ 18.485 billion in September, down 9.1% compared to the same month of 2019. Imports totaled US $ 13.130 billion, down 23.3% compared to September last year. With these results, the trade balance registered a surplus of US $ 5.355 billion last month and US $ 36.969 billion, in the accumulated of seven months.


The deficit in the services account (international travel, transportation, investment rental, among others) reached US $ 1.621 billion in September, compared to US $ 2.50 billion in the same month of 2019. In the seven months of the year, the negative balance reached US $ 15.350 billion, compared to $ 25.593 billion from January to September 2019.

In the case of international travel, revenues from foreigners traveling to Brazil reached US $ 164 million, while the expenses of Brazilians abroad were US $ 301 million. As a result, the travel account ended the month with a deficit of US $ 138 million. In the year to September, the negative balance is US $ 2.029 billion.

According to Rocha, international travel is the main determinant for the result of the service account. He points out that tourists and business travelers are still afraid to expose themselves on trips abroad.

“Tourist attractions with limited space, shows and restricted events decrease the attractiveness of travel,” he said. He also mentioned the fear of having restrictions to return to Brazil, with the second wave of covid-19 in European countries. In addition, the more expensive dollar also reduces the attractiveness of trips abroad.


In September 2020, the deficit in primary income (profits and dividends, interest payments and salaries) reached US $ 1.625 billion, against US $ 3.733 billion in the same period in 2019. From January to September, the negative balance was in US $ 30.089 billion, compared to $ 42.825 billion in the same period last year.

The secondary income account (generated in one economy and distributed to another, such as donations and remittances of dollars, with no counterpart for services or goods) had a positive result of US $ 212 million, against US $ 280 million in September 2019. In the seven months of the year, the positive result reached US $ 1.994 billion, against US $ 977 million in the same period of 2019.


Net inflows in direct investments in the country (IDP) totaled US $ 1.597 billion in the month, against US $ 6.033 billion in September 2019. From January to September, IDP reached US $ 28.554 billion, against US $ 52.032 billion in the seven months of 2019.

In the 12 months ended September 2020, IDP totaled $ 50 billion, corresponding to 3.31% of GDP, compared to $ 54.5 billion (3.52% of GDP) in the previous month.

According to Rocha, the crisis generated by the pandemic generated uncertainties, which makes direct investments postponed. “When there is a shock in the world economy, [something] new that brings a lot of uncertainty, the first reaction is to stop for a while and evaluate how the investment that had a schedule will happen,” he said. According to him, the measures are isolated and the impacts of the crisis are lasting longer than initially imagined.

When the country has a negative balance in current transactions, it needs to cover the deficit with investments or loans abroad. The best way to finance the negative balance is the IDP, because the resources are invested in the productive sector and tend to be long-term investments. Despite investments being lower this year, in the accumulated 12 months, the IDP overcomes the deficit in external accounts, which also decreased due to the crisis generated by the pandemic.

In September, there was a net inflow of portfolio investment in the domestic market totaling US $ 1.207 billion, against US $ 4.911 billion of net outflow in the same period of 2019. In the case of shares and investment funds, there was an outflow of US $ 972 millions. Investments in debt securities had a net inflow of US $ 2.179 billion.

From January to September, there were net outflows of US $ 27.074 billion in these types of investments, against the net inflow of US $ 2.598 billion observed in the same period of 2019.


Source: Agência Brasil



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