in this paper we have tested the hypothesis that the foreign direct investment (fdi) flows into brazil have a moving average pattern in line with predictions from the theory. we have modeled the fdi series in us dollars using a univariate model, the auto-regressive integrated moving average (arima) model. the results confirmed the hypothesis derived from the theory that, after correcting for detected outliers, there is a moving average pattern in fdi inflows into brazil as there is quite a dynamic series with relatively rapid adjustment towards equilibrium values. the patterns found can be used in univariate modeling to generate forecasts of the future values of the series. we present a forecast for the series and discuss the issue of forecast accuracy using the theil coefficient.