Brazilian trade balance hit a $48.1 billion surplus from January to August, the highest for the period since the beginning of the time series in 1989.
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The amount is 48.6% higher than the amount for the same period of last year, and surpasses the trade balance for the entire year of 2016 ($47.7 billion).
The trade balance for August hit a surplus of $5.599 billion, also a historical record for the month. The numbers were released by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services.
In year-to-date terms, exports amounted to $145.9 billion, an 18.1% increase over the same period last year. Imports, in turn, totalled $97.8 billion on the same basis of comparison, 7.3% above the amount for the same period of 2016.
From January to August, all categories of products had increased sales: basic good imports climbed by 25.8%, semi-manufactured goods by 4.2% and manufactured goods by 10.4%.
Brazil's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the first quarter, the country's statistics agency IBGE said Friday.
The GDP in the second quarter totaled 1.639 trillion reals ($520 billion), up 0.3 percent year-on-year.
In the first half of 2017, the GDP remained stable compared with the same period last year.
The IBGE did not consider the second quarter results a recovery per se. However, the positive figures represent a continuation of the growth registered in the first quarter.
Brazil is witnessing a recession and the results registered in the first two quarters of this year may be a sign that the economy will get back on track.
In the second quarter of 2017, the agricultural sector remained stable compared with the same period last year, while the industrial sector shrank 0.5 percent. The services sector, on the other hand, grew by 0.6 percent in the period.
Families' consumption totaled 1.02 trillion reals ($323.8 billion), up 1.4 percent from the first quarter and stable from the second quarter of 2016. Governmental expenses were down 0.9 percent from the first quarter and 2.4 percent from the same period last year, amounting to 336.1 billion reals ($106.7 billion).
Investments fell 0.7 percent from the first quarter and 6.5 percent from the same period in 2016, totaling 253.9 billion reals ($80.6 billion).
While some indicators show signs of improvement, the Brazilian economy is still in a delicate situation, and it will take long to go back to the prosperity of some years ago.
Local news site G1 reported that, despite the advances registered in the past two quarters, retail sales are on the same level as in 2012, services are below the 2012 level, and the number of formal jobs in the country is roughly the same as in 2013.
The industrial capacity is now lower than it was in the last quarter of 2014. The investment rate was 15.5 percent, having returned to 2003 levels, while the savings rate was 15.8 percent. ■