An IMF research paper shows how rare Latin American financial crises have been since 1998, when the world was rocked by EM currency crises. We’ve graphed the findings below.
Carlos Vegh and Guillermo Vuletin, the authors, think the continent has learnt from 1998. Successful countries like Brazil, Peru and Chile have stimulated their economies when GDP dipped; before 1998, they were less keen to do so. Continue reading »
Tuesday’s release of Brazil’s latest GDP figures was bad enough on its own: third quarter growth came in much lower than expected, delivering the worst quarter for five years. But it contained an added element of badness for Guido Mantega, finance minister, who has reportedly had his ear burnt by his famously straight-talking boss, president Dilma Rousseff.
Why? Mantega’s ministry told Dilma’s office last week that GDP growth in full year 2012, previously reported at a measly 0.9 per cent, would be revised upwards to a more respectable 1.5 per cent – something Dilma made much of. And then Tuesday’s figures spoiled it all. Continue reading »
Brazil and Turkey, long the laggards of the OECD’s triennial Pisa student tests, still lag behind the rich countries of the world when it comes to education.
But look at the improvement in the results over the past decade and a different picture emerges. In a trend that is almost unnoticed amid all the carping at poor standards, the young in both countries are much brighter and much cannier in maths, science and reading. Continue reading »
Is there no end to the gloom surrounding Brazil?
The government statistics agency said on Tuesday that GDP had contracted by a seasonally-adjusted 0.5 per cent in the third quarter from the second quarter, more than the 0.3 per cent contraction predicted by a Bloomberg survey of 38 economists. Continue reading »
When Vale agreed to settle multi-billion dollar tax claims this week, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff must have breathed a huge sigh of relief.
After all, she really needs the cash. That became more evident than ever on Friday when the country posted its smallest primary budget surplus for the month of October on record.
Central bank data showed a primary budget surplus of only R$6.2bn ($2.7bn) last month – the lowest figure for October since authorities started tracking the data in 2001 and far below economists’ median estimate of R$9.75bn, according to Reuters.
While that came as a nasty surprise it was not totally unexpected. Brazil’s public finances have been deteriorating for a while as the government remains reluctant to reduce spending ahead of presidential elections next year.
Continue reading »
Research company Wealth-X has released its annual report on “ultra high net worth individuals”. (For those prefer plain English, they mean the stinking rich.)
The super wealthy in the west have got even richer over the past year. In fact the super rich have got richer just about everywhere – bar in eight emerging and frontier countries including China, Brazil and Syria. Continue reading »
Brazil’s central bank has increased its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 10 per cent, as expected.
Here’s the accompanying statement:
Giving continuation to the adjustment of the benchmark interest rate, which began with the meeting in April 2013, the Copom (central bank’s monetary policy committee) decided unanimously to raise the Selic rate to 10 per cent a year, without bias.
Continue reading »
Well, it was fun while it lasted, but it seems that Brazil’s brief affair with low interest rates is over. The country’s central bank is widely expected to raise the benchmark Selic rate by 50 basis points to 10 per cent late on Wednesday, pushing it back into double digits for the first time since March of last year.
The move in itself is welcome — 12-month inflation in the month to mid-November came in at 5.78 per cent. That may be better than previous months, but it is still a long way off the country’s 4.5 per cent target.
However, Brazil’s monetary policy U-turn does raise several questions. Continue reading »
Brazil’s government sure knows how to keep investors on their toes. In an interview with Spain’s El País newspaper, President Dilma Rousseff dropped the following bombshell: Brazil actually grew 1.5 per cent last year, not the reported 0.9 per cent. Continue reading »
The Brazilian economy may be slowing but that isn’t deterring foreign investors from piling in.
The voracious appetite to invest in Latin America’s largest economy was underscored by the success of Brazil’s airport auction on Friday. Continue reading »
It’s going to be a nail-biting few days ahead for Petrobras’s investors, Brazil’s ethanol industry and anyone with a car in the Latin American country.
Next Friday at Petrobras’s board meeting, the government is set to decide on whether to increase fuel prices in the country and, more importantly, whether to keep prices in line with international levels in the future. Continue reading »
Justice in action
For the first time in their country’s recent history, Brazilians finally had a taste of seeing politicians going to jail for corruption.
Last Friday – symbolically, the same day that the Proclamation of the Republic is celebrated in Brazil – the court decreed prison for a group of 12 politicians and bankers involved in the scandal of Mensalão or ‘big monthly payment’, the vote-buying scheme in Congress that used public funds to pay bribes. Continue reading »
There are only so many televisions, washing machines and new cars Brazilians can buy. After propelling Brazil’s economy for the past few years, retail sales in the country have shown further signs of slowing.
Sales in the sector rose 4.1 per cent in September from a year earlier, according to data released on Wednesday. While that ranked as the seventh straight month of expansion, the figure was far below the 6.2 per cent annual growth rate in August and also below analyst estimates. Continue reading »
Chinese state oil companies have inked two fresh deals in the Americas, as they continue to expand abroad to meet China’s ravenous energy demand, write Ajay Makan in London and Samantha Pearson in São Paulo.
PetroChina, China’s largest energy company by oil and gas production, said on Wednesday it would buy stakes in three Peruvian oil and gasfields from Brazilian state oil company Petrobras for $2.6bn.
Hours earlier Cnooc said it was considering building a terminal to export liquefied natural gas from the west coast of Canada. Continue reading »
Latin America is home to four of the five most violent countries in the world.
For an area of the world significantly richer per head than Africa and something of a hot spot for investors, this is damning.
The high crime rates are not just limited to drug-ridden basket cases like Honduras and Guatemala, either. In Brazil and Chile, crime is hitting growth, deterring business and swelling government coffers, according to a UN report released on Tuesday. Continue reading »