UPDATE 1-Brazil reports -$3.9 bln foreign direct investment in December; worst result ever

·2 min read

(Adds data, context)

BRASILIA, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Brazil posted negative foreign direct investment (FDI) of $3.9 billion in December, the worst monthly figure ever recorded in Latin America's biggest economy, bringing the 2021 total to $46.4 billion, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The figure last month was slammed by a negative $6 billion in reinvested profits in the country, according to the central bank.

In the series started in 1995, Brazil had recorded negative monthly FDI on two previous occasions - the $24 million reported in March 1995 and the $103 million in July 2016.

A Reuters poll of economists had forecast Brazil would report $3.1 billion in FDI in December.

Despite improving from FDI of $37.8 billion in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic severely hit Brazil, the annual result represented 2.89% of gross domestic product in 2021, below an average of about 3.7% over the past decade.

Brazil posted a current account deficit of $5.9 billion in December, better than the $6.5 billion deficit forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, contributing to an overall deficit of $28.1 billion last year.

The annual deficit was worth 1.75% of GDP, higher than the 1.69% that the deficit represented in 2020.

Earlier in 2021, the central bank estimated Brazil would record an annual current account surplus, the country's first since 2007. But higher imports led to worse trade numbers, weighing on its prospects.

Brazil's trade balance ended 2021 with a surplus of $36.2 billion, better than the $32.4 billion surplus in 2020, but far from the $70 billion surplus that the central bank had foreseen.

Investors cashed out a net $47 million from Brazilian stocks and bonds in December, the central bank said. In 2021, those investments totaled $25.4 billion after a net withdrawal of $7.8 billion in 2020. (Reporting by Marcela Ayres Editing by Paul Simao)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting