Brazil posted another hefty current account deficit in April as its traditional trade surplus has turned into a deficit this year and foreign companies are repatriating more of their profits, according to central bank data.
The current account gap in April reached 8.318 billion dollars, the largest for the month since the beginning of the central bank data series in 1980.
The country's current account deficit in March was 6.873 billion dollars, the central bank said last month.
In the 12 months through April, the current account deficit was equivalent to 3.04% of GDP, the highest in over a decade.
The deteriorating current account dynamics are an increasing source of concern to investors, Alberto Ramos, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, said in a note to clients. He said he expected the deficit to widen to 70 billion this year, above the central bank estimate of 67 billion.
In the first four months of the year, the current account deficit has nearly doubled to 33.176bn from the same period a year earlier.
A mounting bill for imported fuel and a fall in the price of commodities has led Brazil to accumulate a trade deficit of 6.15bn dollars in the first four months of 2013, a sharp contrast to the 3.299bn surplus recorded in the same period last year.
Adding to the current account deficit, companies operating in Brazil repatriated 2.5 billion in profits and dividends to their headquarters abroad, 5.1% more than in April 2012.
In recent years, Brazil's current account deficit was mitigated by a strong inflow of foreign direct investment, or FDI. After a jump in late 2010, though, FDI has stagnated, prompting economists to question how long foreign investment could continue to make up for the current account shortfall.
At the moment, and despite the stagnation, FDI remains relatively robust. It reached 5.720 billion in April. The central bank has forecast a current account deficit of 67 billion in 2013 and FDI of 65 billion.