Foreign direct investment in Brazil soared to a six-year high in December as investors abroad kept an optimistic view of the country’s long-term prospects, the central bank said.
Brazil attracted $15.4 billion in foreign investment last month, more than twice the amount expected by economists in a Bloomberg survey, and the strongest monthly performance since December 2010. In the whole of 2016, foreigners poured $78.9 billion in Brazil, more than enough to finance the country’s current account deficit of $23.5 billion.
“December’s foreign direct investment was really something,” Fernando Rocha, deputy head of the central bank’s economic research department, told reporters in Brasilia. “It shows foreigners hold a positive long-term view of the country.”
Investors remain generally optimistic that Latin America’s largest economy will emerge from its worst recession on record this year, even as economists surveyed by the central bank have recently cut their 2017 growth forecasts and the International Monetary Fund warned of near-stagnation this year.
December’s investment performance was boosted, in particular, by operations in the auto industry, as well as in the retail and power sectors, Rocha said. Yet overall investment has been “quite widespread” across a number of sectors, he added.
The ouster of Dilma Rousseff was a catalyst for international investors to take a second look at Brazil. The Real had been rallying from January 2016 in anticipation of the event and encountered resistance following Michel Temer’s inauguration as investors waited to see what kind of reforms could in fact be delivered.
The Real fell following Trump’s election but has since recouped the entire loss and is now testing the region of its recovery peaks once more. A sustained move above $0.32 would reassert medium-term Real demand dominance.
The iBovespa Index hit a new recovery high yesterday having bounced impressively from the region of the MA at the turn of the year. A clear downward dynamic would be required to check momentum beyond a brief pause.
The iShares Brazil ETF shares a similar pattern to the currency.