Brazil posts record monthly current account deficit

Brazil's current account deficit soared to $6.87 billion in March, the worst monthly result since 1980, largely due to a poor performance of foreign trade, the Central Bank said Wednesday.

The March deficit, twice that of the same month last year when it totaled $3.2 billion, was in part offset by $5.73 billion in incoming foreign investment, the bank noted.

It attributed the March deficit to falling foreign trade figures due to the global economic slowdown.

The current account balance is the difference between the country's total exports of goods, services and transfers, and its total imports of them. It excludes transactions in financial assets and liabilities.

During the first quarter of this year, the current account deficit reached $24.8 billion, double the amount for the same period of last year ($12.06 billion).

Over a one-year period ending in March, the deficit was equivalent to 2.93 percent of the country's GDP.

During the first quarter of the year, Brazil posted a trade deficit of $5.15 billion mainly due to lower exports of oil and soybean.

This South American economic powerhouse hopes to close the year with a current account deficit of $67 billion, equivalent to 2.7 percent of GDP, above last year's record of 2.4 percent.