Real GDP grew by just 0.45% y/y in Q1 2019, decelerating from 1.12% y/y in the previous quarter, dragged down collectively by weaker household and government consumption, investment and trade. For the full 2018, the country maintained a modest economic growth of 1.12%, compared to 1.06% in 2017.
The central bank of Brazil continually cut the benchmark SELIC interest rate from 14.25% in September 2016 to its record low of 6.5% in March 2018 and kept the rate unchanged since then aiming to accelerate economic activity and ease cost of business.
Brazil’s current account balance came in at a deficit of USD 8.1bn in Q1 2019, declining from the USD 9bn recorded in the same period a year earlier, on the back of a strong influx of capital.
In 2018 Brazil managed to attract significant foreign direct investment (FDI) of USD 88.3bn, up by 26% compared to 2017. Net FDI continued to be strong in Q1, amounting to USD 21.1bn and surpassing the Q1 2018 performance.