UPDATE 1-Brazil's current account gap narrows on positive trade
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BRASILIA, June 22 (Reuters) - Brazil's current account deficit narrowed in May to half its level in the previous month due to a rising trade surplus, boosted by dwindling demand for imports and a weaker local currency.
The commodities powerhouse posted a current account deficit of $3.366 billion in May, down from $6.9 billion in April and $7.874 billion in May of last year, central bank data showed on Monday. The market expected a deficit of $4.7 billion in May, according to a Reuters poll of 19 economists.
The central bank reduced its 2015 current account gap projection to $81 billion from a previous estimate of $84 billion.
Current account is a broad measure of a country's international transactions, and it includes trade, profit remittances, interest payments and services including tourism.
The narrowing external gap is due to a drop in imports caused by a sharp slowdown in economic activity and a weaker real, which has made Brazilian exports more competitive abroad.
So far this year the real has slid more than 13 percent against the U.S. dollar.
In the 12 months through May, the current account deficit was equivalent to 4.39 percent of Brazil's gross domestic product, down from 4.53 percent in the previous month. Brazil attracted $6.608 billion in foreign direct investments last month, the central bank said. (Reporting by Alonso Soto and Marcela Ayres; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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