Brazil's financial market has downgraded its 2018 economic growth forecast from 2.37% to 2.18%, according to a Focus poll released on Monday by the Central Bank. Four weeks ago, a similar survey of the country's leading financial institutions showed GDP was expected to expand 2.7%.
The downgrade was blamed on a slower than expected rate of economic recovery and crippling truckers' strikes in May that brought deliveries and supplies to a standstill for 11 days, causing shortages of fuel and fresh produce.
For 2019, analysts maintained their growth forecast at 3%. Financial analysts maintained their benchmark interest rate forecast for 2018 at the current rate of 6.5%.
The projected exchange rate for the end of the year rose slightly from 3.48 to 3.5 Reais to the U.S. dollar, as it did for 2019 (from 3.47 to 3.5 Reais to the U.S. dollar).
Brazil's expected trade surplus for 2018 went from US$ 57.15 billion to US$ 57 billion, with the 2019 forecast adjusted from US$ 49.8 billion to US$ 49.3 billion.
Projected foreign direct investment in Brazil remained at US$ 75 billion for 2018 and US$ 80 billion for 2019.