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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Brazil's Deficit Down

BRASILIA, Brazil -- The devaluation of Brazil's currency last year was a boon for the country's balance of payments deficit, which shrank to $24.38 billion in 1999 from $33.61 billion the previous year, the central bank said Monday.

In December alone, the deficit in current accounts - the broadest measure of foreign trade - narrowed to $2.97 billion, compared with $3.62 billion a year earlier.

A year ago, panicky investors pulled billions of dollars out of the country, and the government let its currency, the real, trade freely against the dollar. The real promptly plunged 45 percent, although it has strengthened since then.

The cheaper real helped to shrink the nation's foreign trade deficit and sharply reduced overseas travel by Brazilian tourists.

Even more heartening was the massive inflow of foreign direct investment in 1999. Foreign direct investment in Brazil last year was a record $29.98 billion.