As one of the most popular presidents in Brazilian history, Dilma Rousseff must have hoped this would never happen.
But at the opening match of the FIFA Confederations Cup on Saturday – Brazil’s first chance to show off its new stadiums ahead of the World Cup next year – Dilma was booed and jeered by thousands of fans. Continue reading »
Unlike in the US, Brazilians celebrate the country’s version of Valentine’s Day – Dia dos Namorados – on June 12. But like in the US, the day has become heavily commercialised.
Vicente, a young government official, exchanged gifts worth more than R$500 with his boyfriend on Wednesday night, including items such as furniture for his new apartment. Continue reading »
Brazil’s cutting its IOF financial transaction tax to zero for foreign investments in local bonds makes perfect sense. The logic of its introduction, after all, was that Brazil faced a tsunami of hot money inflows as a result of the developed world’s aggressively loose monetary policies following the crisis of 2008-09. Those inflows made the currency stronger and eroded Brazil’s competitiveness. It needed a flood barrier. Now that the tide of those flows has turned, the obvious response is to take the barrier away.
If only things were that simple. Continue reading »
Brazilian industrial production surprised on the upside in April, rising 1.8 per cent month-on-month against a consensus of about 1 per cent. In comparison with last year, it grew 8.4 per cent – a lot better than a negative 3.6 per cent performance in March. Continue reading »
The estimates for economic growth in Brazil this year – and next – continue to tumble after last week’s weaker-than-expected first quarter growth.
A weekly survey by the central bank of 100 economists showed they had lowered their forecasts for 2013 to 2.77 per cent from 2.93 per cent the prior week. Continue reading »
Imagine being in the shoes of Brazil’s central bank president Alexandre Tombini (pictured) on Wednesday. Beyondbrics pictures the scenario as something like this:
Mr Tombini was sitting at his desk reading the newspapers this morning and thinking about tonight’s regular meeting of the monetary policy committee, known as Copom. “I think I will argue for a 50 basis point rise tonight. After all, inflation is hovering near the top of our admittedly already generous range of 4.5 per cent plus or minus 2 percentage points and it’s time to show that we mean business.” Continue reading »
Brazil on Wednesday released its first quarter GDP figures and they don’t make for a pretty reading.
For the fifth consecutive quarter, growth in Latin America’s largest economy fell short of market expectations. The economy expanded just 0.55 per cent compared to the previous three months, or 1.9 per cent year-on-year. A Bloomberg analyst poll had predicted 0.9 per cent growth compared with the previous quarter. Continue reading »
With consumer defaults on the rise and confidence among shoppers at a three-year low in Brazil, the nerves are starting to show.
Chaos broke out across at least 12 states over the weekend after rumours spread that the government was planning to suspend the nationwide Bolsa Família social welfare programme. Continue reading »
“The growing sense of bonhomie between the two countries makes sense,” writes Joe Leahy, the FT’s Brazil bureau chief, in a new FT Report: Brazil & the US 2013.
Brazil, he writes, offers the US a friendly face in an increasingly multipolar world, while for Brazil, the US is an ever-more-important partner in its effort to become more internationally-competitive and escape the middle-income trap in which it has languished for decades. Continue reading »
Brazil’s central bank is in tightening mode again, raising its policy interest rate last week after a long cycle of loosening that began in August 2011. It is worried that inflation is on the rise and less worried, apparently, about slow growth.
But behind recent numbers on inflation is another set of numbers on retail sales, which fell in February for the first time in a decade. If that turns into a trend, the very foundations of Brazil’s recent growth story will be undermined. Chart of the week takes a look. Continue reading »
Brazil’s central bank ended an easing cycle that last nearly two years by raising its benchmark lending rate on Wednesday night to tackle rising inflation.
The central bank’s monetary policy committee increased the benchmark Selic rate by 25 basis points. Continue reading »
It was slightly better than expected. But not by enough. The latest measure of Brazil’s troubled economy will have left policy makers in a quandry.
The central bank’s monthly activity index contracted by 0.52 per cent in February, dashing any hopes that its 1.4 per cent expansion in January was the start of a sustained recovery. It comes after figures this week showed inflation rising above the government’s tolerated maximum – figures that might have strengthened the resolve of any hawks at the central bank keen to raise interest rates at its policy meeting next week. That now looks a harder trick to pull off. Continue reading »
Figures for March inflation, published on Wednesday, will have made painful reading in Brasília: for the first time since late 2011, consumer price inflation was above the government’s upper limit of 6.5 per cent a year, at 6.59 per cent.
But it could have been worse. Indeed, the benchmark IPCA index rose 0.47 per cent during March, less than the 0.5 per cent consensus in a Bloomberg survey of 38 economists. And inflation in the month was rather less than February’s 0.6 per cent. So, sighs of relief, rather than gnashing of teeth? Continue reading »
“Federal Police tried to arrest drug traffickers smuggling narcotics under 500 kilos of tomatoes. The drug dealers fled, leaving behind the cocaine and taking all the tomatoes,” says a spoof news report circulating on the internet in Brazil.
Anyone who enters in a grocery store in the country will get the joke. The official IPCA-consumer price index registered a rise of 106 per cent in the price of tomatoes in the last 12 months. According to newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, however, the increase is in fact much greater in the nation’s financial capital, from R$3 per kilogramme to more than R$9 during the same period. Continue reading »