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If anyone had any doubts about the political significance of the tragic plane crash that killed presidential candidate Eduardo Campos last week, they only need to see the results of Monday’s Datafolha poll.

Marina Silva, who is set to take over as candidate for the Brazilian Socialist party (PSB), attracted over twice as much support as Mr Campos did before he died and now stands a real chance of winning October’s elections. Continue reading »

Eduardo Campos, the Brazilian presidential candidate killed in an air crash on Wednesday, paid a visit to the FT in London at the end of last year. He met the editor and a dozen other journalists and left an impression of a man who had a clear view of the challenges facing Brazil and of the means to tackle them. In that respect, he was a rarity among Brazilian politicians. He will be sorely missed. Continue reading »

The weekly survey of market economists by Brazil’s central bank is becoming the economic equivalent of a limbo dance: each time around, just that little bit lower. This week’s edition has GDP growth in 2014 coming it at just 0.81 per cent, making 11 consecutive weeks of contraction. The outlook for 2015, which had been unchanged for five weeks at 1.5 per cent, has also come down, to 1.2 per cent.

Voters, though, don’t seem to be bothered. Continue reading »

How much lower can it go? The consensus on Brazil’s economic growth this year has been revised downwards for nine successive weeks, according to the central bank’s latest survey of market economists, and now stands at a meagre 0.9 per cent.

The consensus on growth next year is not much better, at 1.5 per cent. As our chart shows, estimates of growth this year (the black line) and next have been in decline for the past 12 months. (Longer, in fact. When the bank first asked economists about growth in 2014, they expected it to come in at 3.8 per cent.) Continue reading »

Israel and Brazil are locked in a diplomatic spat after Latin America’s biggest country issued a statement condemning Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for using “disproportional” force in Gaza but failed to mention the role of Hamas in the conflict.

An Israeli spokesperson called Brazil a diplomatic dwarf and described it as irrelevant in terms of international diplomacy. Continue reading »

Until recently, common wisdom on Brazil’s presidential election was overwhelmingly that it was president Dilma Rousseff’s to lose.

Now, however, the signs that the incumbent may have to scramble to avoid having a second-term slip from her grasp are coming harder and faster. Continue reading »

Brazilian inflation broke the upper bound of the government’s target range in the first half of July, reaching an annual rate of 6.51 per cent according to the statistics office IBGE. It looks set to stay high until the country’s elections in October, putting further pressure on the candidacy of Dilma Rousseff, seeking re-election as president.

The half-monthly figures presented by the IBGE are not seasonally adjusted. But Neil Shearing at Capital Economics reckons they show a clear tendency to take annual inflation to 6.6 per cent for the full month, up from 6.5 per cent in June. Continue reading »

Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals was bad enough but now it looks like the country’s economy may also be heading for a similarly crushing defeat. While annual inflation is creeping up towards 7 per cent, most economists now forecast GDP growth this year of little more than 1 per cent.

Faced with this gloomy scenario, Brazil’s central bank will have little choice but to do precisely nothing at its interest rate meeting this week. Continue reading »

After the excruciating manner with which the seleção, Brazil’s national team, was ejected from the World Cup this week, the mood in the country has changed.

As the final looms on Sunday, Brazilians are beginning to reflect on the lessons from the event, with plenty of food for thought. One of the less savoury messages is what the event has told us about the distorted image of Brazil abroad in terms of women and sex. Continue reading »

Luiz Felipe Scolari

Historic humiliation! Historic disgrace! Historic defeat! Worst in 94 years!

The headlines across Brazil’s newspapers on Tuesday night left no doubt: the country’s devastating 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals will make Brazilians wince for generations.

There was little anger, few accusations and – perhaps surprisingly – barely any mention of Brazil’s absent star player Neymar or the Colombian defender Juan Zúñiga who broke the Brazilian’s back last week and took him out of the tournament. Instead, the mood was solely of utter despair.

 Continue reading »

As Joe Leahy reported at the weekend, the back injury suffered on Friday by Neymar, Brazil’s star striker, is unlikely to hurt President Dilma Rousseff in her bid for re-election in October. She may even benefit, as the nation bonds together in grief or – there is, after all, still a chance – in celebration.

But Rousseff should forget Neymar. Come October, Brazilians will likely be much more worried about the economy. And here, Rousseff has plenty to fear. Continue reading »

Fears that Brazil’s infrastructure would be overwhelmed have so far proven overblown. There have been some flight cancellations, poor communications at some games and other problems, but the FT’s Brazil bureau chief Joseph Leahy reports that generally things have gone smoothly

In the months leading up to the World Cup, Brazilians became accustomed to muttering “imagina na Copa” or “imagine this happening during the World Cup” in response to every type of annoyance, irritation or problem facing the country, such as bad transportation, crime etc. The idea expressed their horror at how foreigners visiting the country for the World Cup would cope when confronted with the same issues.

In a country which generally loves foreign visitors but in many of whose cities “gringos” – as they are called – are normally not a particularly common sight, this apprehension grew out of proportion. “Imagine”, for example, how the gringos would react when reading a menu and coming across the phrase “against the Brazilian beef”, a literal translation of the Portuguese name of a certain cut of steak, contra filé brasileiro. Continue reading »

Grupo Lala, which controls about half of Mexico’s dairy market, has been running a World Cup promotion to give consumers the chance to win tickets to Brazil. Now, it seems, it could have been eyeing Latin America’s biggest market itself.

According to Bloomberg, Lala is keen to buy BRF’s (Brazil Food) dairy business in Brazil, which the company has reportedly been hawking to potential buyers. Continue reading »

The mood in Brazil has no doubt brightened after Monday night’s convincing win over Cameroon in the World Cup. On that showing, Brazilians will have plenty to cheer about over the next few weeks. At some point, however, they face the morning after.

A survey to be published tomorrow by LatAm Confidential, a research service at the FT, shows consumer confidence sinking to its lowest level since the survey began in February 2012. It follows a central bank survey of market economists on Monday in which the consensus on growth fell to a new low. After so much flair on the pitch, many Brazilians will be left wondering why the spark has gone out of their economy. Continue reading »