The US economy grew much faster than expected in the first quarter of the year, helped by a jump in exports and by firms building up stocks of goods. The economy expanded at an annualized pace of 3.2% in the January-to-March period, well above analysts' forecasts.
Automobile production in Brazil fell 0.6% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year, the national automakers’ association said on Thursday, as an economic crisis in Argentina continued to weigh on output.
Brazil posted a trade surplus of US$ 4.99 billion in March, the Economy Ministry said, significantly smaller than the same month a year ago thanks to a strong rise in imports. The trade surplus last month fell 22.3% to US$ 4.99 billion from US$ 6.42 billion a year ago, although that was up more than a third from February’s surplus of US$ 3.67 billion.
The US trade deficit widened sharply in December as slowing global demand and a strong dollar weighed on exports, another sign that economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter. Other data from the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed new orders for US-made goods barely rose in December and business spending on equipment was much weaker than previously thought, pointing to a softening in manufacturing activity.
Uruguay's exports of dairy products between January and November were worth 636 million US dollars, which represents a 17% increase compared to the same period last year, the National Milk Institute (INALE) announced Monday.
Manufacturing activity in Brazil expanded in October as strong demand prompted firms to increase payrolls for the first time in three months, bolstering the outlook for a steady economic recovery. The Purchasing Managers' Index calculated by research firm Markit rose to 51.1 from 50.9 in September, holding above the 50 threshold separating a contraction from an expansion for a fourth straight month.
United States has refrained from labeling China a currency manipulator in a move which may help defuse escalating tension over trade between the two countries. President Trump has previously accused China of keeping its currency weak to make its exports more competitive.
The US dollar slipped against the Canadian dollar on Monday as the United States and Canada reached a framework deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement. The deal reached involves offering more dairy access to U.S. farmers as well as Canada agreeing to a side-letter arrangement effectively capping automobile exports to the United States.
President Mauricio Macri unveiled plans on Monday to raise export taxes on grains and slash the number of government ministries in a bid to balance its budget next year, as Argentina seeks a deal with the IMF to accelerate a US$ 50 billion standby loan program.
Argentina's beef exports could double in 2018 for a total of US$ 1.8 billion thanks to increased Chinese demand and a sharp devaluation of the peso currency, according to analysts and industry experts.