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As Brazil’s polling day draws closer, another data point emerged on Friday for the voters’ consideration: consumer price inflation is back above the upper limit of the government’s target range and shows no sign of falling back soon.

The IBGE, Brazil’s statistics office, said CPI in the month to mid-September was 0.39 per cent, bringing the accumulated rate over the past 12 months to 6.62 per cent. That was above the consensus forecast of 0.35 per cent for the month, according to Bloomberg. Continue reading »

Presidential candidate Aécio Neves receives minor boost in polls

Brazil’s benchmark stock index staged one of its most volatile trading days yet in the lead-up to next month’s election ahead of a poll that showed upstart presidential candidate Marina Silva rebuilding her lead.

The Bovespa index finished up 2 per cent at 59,114.66 after earlier gains of nearly 4 per cent on hopes that the poll would indicate incumbent President Dilma Rousseff was losing, analysts said. Continue reading »

Cometh the hour, cometh the woman. Would a Marina Silva presidency be good for efforts to stop what scientists and activists argue is the continuing threat from deforestation to the world’s tropical forests?

A recent report by Forest Trends, a Washington-based non-government organisation, estimates that five football fields of tropical forest are being converted every minute in South America, Asia and Africa to supply soybeans, palm oil, beef and wood products. Continue reading »

For Marina Silva, the easy part is over. The honeymoon period when she was introduced as presidential candidate is coming to an end. Now the freight train of the Workers’ Party or PT, led by incumbent president Dilma Rousseff, is catching up and if the former senator does not start to show some teeth, she could get run over.

This would at least appear to be the message from recent opinion polls. From a nine percentage point lead in a second round run-off, Silva is now neck and neck with Rousseff. Continue reading »

Another week and yet another cut in the consensus on Brazilian GDP growth this year. The central bank’s weekly survey of 100 market economists has notched up 16 consecutive weeks of downward revisions to bring the consensus on GDP growth to just 0.33 per cent this year. The outlook for 2015 also fell, to 1.04 per cent.

At least the central bank’s survey is not alone. The OECD, also on Monday, in its latest Economic Outlook cut its forecast of Brazilian growth to just 0.3 per cent this year and 1.4 per cent in 2015. That’s down from an expected 1.8 per cent in 2014 and 2.2 per cent in 2015 at the OECD’s last Economic Outlook in May. Continue reading »

Is the tide changing in Brazil’s election? Barclays Research issued a note on Thursday afternoon changing its base case scenario to one in which Marina Silva defeats Dilma Rousseff, the incumbent, at the presidential election on October 5. Continue reading »

Just as President Dilma Rousseff thought she had put a scandal affecting state-owned oil company Petrobras behind her, it has come roaring back, nastier than ever.

Paulo Roberto Costa, a former Petrobras executive accused of accepting kickbacks in return for contracts, has reportedly made a plea bargain with investigators that has got Brasília sweating. Continue reading »

Growing in Brazil has long been in the sights of Carlos Slim’s América Móvil. The company has almost as many subscribers there as in Mexico, where it is under regulatory pressure.

So teaming up with an existing carrier to buy the country’s No. 2 cellphone carrier might be a smart move.

According to Bloomberg, América Móvil is talking to Brazil’s Oi about teaming up to make a joint bid for the Brazilian operations of mobile operator TIM. Continue reading »

With every passing week, the gloom over Brazil’s economy gets a little deeper. The central bank’s latest weekly survey of market economists shows that the consensus for GDP growth this year has fallen for its 15th consecutive week and is now just 0.48 per cent.

Investors dismayed by the interventionist, sectoral industrial policies pursued by President Dilma Rousseff – up for re-election on October 5 – may be even more dismayed to see their latest predicted results: industrial production is expected to fall by 1.98 per cent this year, from a fall of 1.53 per cent four weeks ago. Continue reading »

When Brazil’s presidential election circus arrived in Rio Grande do Sul this week, it was hard not to see the difference between the styles of the two leading candidates.

Marina Silva, the upstart environmentalist who has suddenly taken the lead in the polls, staged what was almost a stealth visit. On Thursday, she arrived at Expointer 2014, a large agricultural fair on the edge of the state capital Porto Alegre, in a van ,and held tough closed-door meetings with her erstwhile adversaries in the rural sector. Continue reading »

Brazil’s presidential election on October 5, previously seen as a shoo-in for the incumbent Dilma Rousseff of the leftwing PT, was thrown wide open last month by the death in an air crash of Eduardo Campos of the centre-left PSB, lying third in opinion polls. His running-mate, the much better known Marina Silva, a former environment minister with a compelling story of personal struggle from jungle poverty to national prominence, has surged ahead to take the lead in the polls.

Investors have gone almost dizzy with excitement. Their thinking is that an opposition victory would mean less of the statist, interventionist, ad hoc policy-making seen under Rousseff and more of the market-friendly, across the board, pro-growth reform so many economists and investors in Brazil have been crying out for for years.

But how much should they realistically expect of a Marina government? Continue reading »

If Brazil’s contestants for the presidency had treated Marina Silva with kid gloves last month as a sign of respect for the tragic death in a plane crash of her running mate, Eduardo Campos, that grace period is certainly now over.

Incumbent president Dilma Rousseff, who is running for a second term, has placed the upstart candidate, who has stolen her lead in the election, firmly in her sights this week. As has third-placed rival Aécio Neves, who is watching the election slip rapidly away from him. Continue reading »

Another week and yet another contraction in the consensus for GDP growth in Brazil this year. The central bank’s latest weekly survey of market economists has notched up its 14th consecutive week of falling forecasts and now predicts growth of just 0.52 per cent this year – which may even sound optimistic to some after last week’s figures showing the economy was in recession during the first half. Continue reading »

Brazil’s economy is, by the standard definition, in recession. Its GDP contracted 0.6 per cent in the second quarter from the first, while the first quarter figure was revised to a contraction of 0.2 per cent form the previously reported 0.2 per cent growth.

The year on year figures were even worse: a 0.9 per cent contraction compared with the second quarter of 2013. Still, as Joe Leahy reported for fast FT, employment seems to holding up so the performance of the economy may not completely derail President Dilma Rousseff’s chances of re-election in October. Continue reading »

Following her sudden emergence as a potential favourite to win Brazil’s October election, Marina Silva is rapidly coming under greater scrutiny.

In particular, much attention is being directed at her two catch cries. These are that she represents something she calls the “nova política” or “new politics” for Brazil and that she will govern with the support of “os melhores” or “the best” from across the political spectrum, including from the major parties that presently dominate Congress. Continue reading »