Encouraging news for Brazil's economic recovery: industrial output increased in April for the first time since December and the trade surplus rose to a record US$ 7.661bn during May, according to government data. Exports boosted by a record soy crop and rising auto sales reached US$ 19.8bn and imports US$ 12.2bn
Likewise industrial production rose 0.6% in April from March after seasonal adjustments, government statistics agency IBGE said. IBGE also revised up March figures to show a smaller decline of 1.3% in output, down from an originally reported drop of 1.8%.
Brazilian manufacturers are slowly recovering from the country's worst recession on record, aided by lower interest rates and a pick-up in exports. Economists expect output to rise 1.3% this year, recovering only part of last year's 6.6% plunge, according to a weekly survey.
Brazil's industry is operating at 2009 levels, 19.8% below its historical peak, IBGE economist André Macedo said.
Output rose in 13 of the 24 industrial activities covered by IBGE, with pharmaceutical goods up 19.8% and automobile production up 3.4% from March. Production of capital goods such as machinery, an indicator of investments, rose 1.5%, IBGE said. However output in April retreated 4.5% from a year earlier.