The truck drivers' strike which paralyzed Brazil's trade and supply for about 10 days in May had a significant effect on the country's economy, its central bank reported on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the central bank published Brazil's external accounts figures for May. Even though Brazil registered a surplus for the third consecutive month, the figures were far lower than what was expected.
In May, the external account surplus totaled 729 million U.S. dollars, when expectations had been set for a surplus of 2.5 billion dollars. The figures were 73.9% lower than those registered in the same period in 2017.
According to Fernando Rocha, chief of statistics for the central bank, the May figures were mostly due to the strike, which paralyzed the shipping of Brazilian exports and caused a supply crisis in the country.
In May, exports fell 2.8% from the same period last year. It was the first reduction since December 2016, Rocha said, who stressed that the event was a one-time occurrence and its effects would dissipate in time.
The sharp fall in exports caused the trade surplus to fall to 5.5 billion U.S. dollars in May, down from 7.4 billion U.S. dollars in the same period a year earlier.