With the currency ever so strong against the US dollar Brazilians are travelling overseas and spending as never before, according to the latest figures from the Central Bank.
In June Brazilians spent overseas 1.4 billion dollars, up 39.9% over the same month a year ago. In the first six months of 2011 the sum jumps to 6.8 billion dollars, compared to 4.2 billion a year ago.
“Spending overseas in June and in the first half of 2011 is the highest ever since the Central Bank begun taking records in 1947”, said Tulio Macioe, head of the Central bank Economic Department.
In July the tendency is even steeper given the winter holidays in Brazil. So far this month (July 26), Brazilians have spent overseas 1.32 billion dollars. However the overall sum is greater since the Central bank account refers to net values and thus 338 million dollars spent by incoming tourists was subtracted from 1.7bn.
Maciel also pointed out that the use of credit cards by Brazilians is falling following the tax increase on financial operations imposed last April.
That month spending on credit card was 59% above the same month in 2010, but in May the increase was down to 33.9% and in June, down to 23.4%.
Similarly the percentage of travel expenses paid with credit cards is down from 60.1% in April to 54.7% in May and 54.2% in June.
With the strong Real many Brazilians are preferring to travel overseas. Further more some of the travel packages to Europe and the United States are cheaper than spending the same time in the country’s northeast where its summer all year.
The dollar floats in the range of 1.50 to 1.55 Real, having appreciated 40% since the 2008/09 international recession. In the first six months of 2011, the Brazilian central bank has spent 36 billion dollars in support of the US currency in the domestic market.