Brazil’s retail sector growth hit five-year-high in 2018

retail sales continued their growth trajectory in the wake of the end of the recession last year. Growth in the sector reached 2.3% in 2018, the best result in five years. The data was released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics on Wednesday (13).

Sectors of highlight in the year included personal items (+7.6%), pharmaceutical and medical items (+5.9%), hypermarkets, supermarkets, and food products (+3.8%) and computer and communication equipment (slight increase of 0.1%).

The expanded retail sector (which also comprises the sales of the automotive sector) grew for the nineteenth time in a row, with a 5% increase in activity in the period. The result was chiefly driven by the sale of automobiles and motorcycles, which climbed by a significant 15.1%.

The sector’s recovery comes in the wake of the resurgence of the Brazilian economy, which now enjoys curbed inflation and the SELIC benchmark interest rate at historic lows following a long recession.

 

Brazil Gov News 

The total abandonment of the US currency is premature talk – Dmitriev

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) is a threat to the hegemony of the US dollar – the creation and launch of the NDB was referred to as an international anti-dollar alliance. As a result, prospects of the coalition of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa ‘de-dollarizing’ – creating a single currency of the BRICS countries that would ultimately replace the dollar, have been in discussion on the media. 

BRICS agreeing to cooperation on Fourth Revolution, cryptocurrencies further sparked conversations of the grouping abandoning the dollar. BRICS first discussed Crypto in 2017. 

Kirill A. Dmitriev CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and member of the BRICS Business Council, however, says that “it is premature to talk about total abandonment of the US currency”.

Dmitriev who was being interviewed by Brasil Sputnik on the prospects for financial cooperation under the BRICS and whether the bloc will in future find an alternative to the dollar, further said that BRICS countries focus on using their own currencies in transactions between them while the Chinese yuan plays an increasingly important role.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Tata CEO on BRICS institute’s Advisory Board

Len Brand, CEO of Tata Africa Holdings accepted the invitation for a position on the BRICS institute Advisory board. The BRICS Institute is an independent institute, directed by an Advisory Board comprising remarkable leaders from business, the diplomatic corps, government, and academics. 

In accepting the position, Brand has dedicated himself to assist in developing world-class leaders and fostering real economic growth and shared prosperity between China, the BRICS countries and the world.

The Institute is presided over by 20 members who form the Advisory Board, which comprises several subcommittees who focus on research, knowledge development and innovation. The institute works in close collaboration with Regenesys Business School and draws on the support of senior academic, research and consulting staff, representing all the BRICS countries.

The BRICS Institute was launched at Regenesys Business School on the 14th of June 2018.

READ MORE: The BRICS Institute has officially launched

The Tata CEO has said that he is looking forward to making a positive contribution and further said he is certain that his industry expertise will be of benefit to the BRICS institute and its sub-committee members.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Brazil’s Central Bank sees inflation at adequate level

Brazil’s scenario is increasingly favorable to consumer wallets and should continue this way this and next year. This is the assessment of the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB), which released the minutes of the last meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) on Tuesday (February 12).

The document explains why the institution decided to keep Brazil’s benchmark interest rate (SELIC) at 6.5% per year, the lowest level in history.
The BCB assessed that inflation is at an “appropriate or adequate” level and recalled that private sector experts are also making favorable projections for the indicator. The minutes noted that the Focus Bulletin, a weekly publication that compiles expert market analyst forecasts, predicts inflation at around 3.9%, 4.0% and 3.75% for 2019, 2020 and 2021 (respectively).

For the Central Bank, the continuation of this low-inflation scenario depends on the economic reforms moving forward. The institution understands these changes, like the pension reform and others that may be proposed by the government, as essential. The reforms are expected to yield benefits both for the cost of living of Brazilians and for the sustainable recovery of the economy.

 

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Brazil the nation to most likely rapture BRICS?

China’s President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazil’s President Michel Temer and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin pose for a group picture at the BRICS summit meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The election of Brazil’s new President, Jair Bolsonaro has been seen as a dilemma for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) grouping. This because of the Bolsonaro’s Presidential campaign messages – he promised: “liberate Brazil from the ideology of its international relations that it subjected Brazil to in recent years.”

The ” liberation of Brazil from socialism” as declared by the far right-wing President has been viewed as the collapse of the grouping. The future of the bloc has been foreseen as “RICS” – Brazil the nation most likely to rapture BRICS.

Brasilia’s stance on the Venezuela crisis is another factor the world is anticipating a ‘Braxit’. A crisis concerning who is the legitimate President of Venezuela has been underway since 10 January 2019, when the National Assembly (the oppositional majority)declared the reelection of Nicolás Maduro as invalid and declared Juan Guaidó as acting President. Brazil has declared support for Juan Guaidó, while Russia and China are rallying behind six-year President Maduro. Brazil joined the US in backing the acting President.

Brazil has, however, not announced an exit – the country has assumed the Presidency of the grouping.

READ MORE: Brazil to host next BRICS Summit in 2019

In an interview with IOL.co.za, South Africa Minister of International Relations and Diplomacy, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu whether she foresees difficulty within the BRICS with Brazil’s new administration, its anti-China rhetoric and the country’s association with the US.

The Minster responded; 

BRICS is an association of willing partners who would like to assist each other. Governments come and ago and we are still hoping that the association will last. The President of Brazil has not broken away from BRICS, and he is the Chair of BRICS this year. We will wait and see what he has to say about BRICS, but I don’t expect that his relationships with other people will take him away from BRICS. We built the association over a long period of time and its successes speak for themselves – reports IOL.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Brazil exports expected to grow about 20% over the next four years

Changes in economic policy and trade relations should boost sales of Brazilian products abroad. Experts consulted by the Central Bank are betting that Brazil may reach almost US$ 300 billion in exports in the coming years. The estimate is in the Market Expectations System, which gathers daily forecast surveys of the Brazilian economy from about 130 banks, fund managers and other institutions. The numbers were released on February 1.

This year, foreign sales are expected to total US$ 249.05 billion, according to market forecasts. In 2023, the estimated value is US$ 295 billion. If predictions are confirmed, total growth in the period will be of 18.47%.
According to economist Silvio Campos Neto, the domestic economic agenda will be one of the main factors driving this increase. “The indications are in a positive direction in terms of competitiveness. Removal of bureaucratic hurdles, a simpler tax system, and pension reform will all help reduce economic uncertainties. These are structural measures that reduce costs and tend to stimulate exports,” he says.

Products with the potential to gain prominence in sales abroad include agribusiness, mining and oil goods. “China is our main partner. It is a country that should grow less in the coming years, but still has a very high demand for this type of product,” Campos Neto explained.

January
Brazilian exports reached US$ 18.5 billion in January, the highest amount for the month in the last 30 years and a 9.1% increase year-over-year. According to the Ministry of the Economy, the increase in exports was driven by higher sales to the foreign market of oil rigs, aviation equipment, airplanes, fuel oils, cast iron, cellulose, copper ore, bulk maize, soybean meal, iron ore, and others.


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Brazil’s Unemployment rate falls to 11.6% in Q4 2018

The unemployment rate ended the last quarter of last year at 11.6%, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). The average unemployment rate in the year was 12.3%, down from 12.7% in 2017.

According to IBGE, the unemployed population in Brazil totals 12.2 million people, remaining stable in the quarter ended in December in comparison with the same period of the previous year. The numbers are part of the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD).

There were also improvements regarding the employed population. At the end of December, the rate of employed persons increased by 1% year-over-year to 93 million (+ 894,000 people employed).

The rate of the employed population between 2018 and 2017 increased by 1.3%, with almost 1.3 million people finding work.

 

Brazil Government

THE NEW PRESIDENCY OF BRAZIL AND THE UPCOMING CHALLENGES

Brazil enters a new phase of politics since it democratized itself again in 1985, after 21 years of a military dictatorship that had been stimulated by Operation Condor, from the United States of America, and that influenced the directions of all of Latin America. Jair Bolsonaro represents a jump in the dark because, in addition to a much below average parliamentary career, was elected under a strong scheme of fake news illegally funded by enterprises throughout social media.

Even before the start of 2018 election campaign, Bolsonaro gained notoriety for exposing a line of reasoning completely out of modern world’s reality. He spoke against the brazilian black people on several occasions, against women, against the LGBT population. He positioned himself in favour of innocent death in wars, methods of torture, cursing women reporters and parliamentarians in front of the cameras. He honored the main torturer of the military dictatorship political police several times.

Curiously, after all Bolsonaro was elected without attending the traditional presidential debates, only by the force of the fake news and the algorithm manipulation in the social networks. This makes it very difficult to know what to expect from the next government. Bolsonaro, however, gave some rather significant signals about the political course that Brazil is expected to follow in the next few years. During campaign he had salute the US flag and promise to deliver natural resources and military strategical structures to the Americans.

A few days after elected, Bolsonaro continues to demonstrate his inability to gauge the consequences of his speeches and generates negative repercussions worldwide. He has already announced the end of the ministry of labor, the intention to charge monthly fees at public universities, to create distance learning schools over the internet, and to give police forces freepass to kill. He announced on facebook the persecution of teachers, student organizations and even the press who opposed the new government.

In international politics it has not been different. He has already spoken against Mercosur, the common market of South American countries that is important for regional development, against China that is the main commercial partner of Brazil, showed signs of distancing from the BRICS cooperation initiative and announced the change of the Brazilian embassy in Israel, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Recent announcements have created tensions in Brazil’s diplomatic relations with South America, the European Union, BRICS and the Arab countries.

There is also a delicate issue that is unfolding on the border with Venezuela. NATO sends troops to Colombia, while the United States military, in addition to donating tanks to the Brazilian army, carries out unprecedented military exercises in Brazilian territory, near Venezuela. Donald Trump is airing the possibility of military intervention in the Bolivarian Republic and one of Bolsonaro’s son, who is a federal deputy, has already spoken openly about the war with Venezuela. In other words, due to the 2018 election, there is a more favorable conjunctural alignment for military aggression against Nicolas Maduro.

So, what is expected for the upcoming years is a Brazil, once again, on its knees before the traditional western politics, the withdrawal of historical rights won through the workers’ struggle and a substantial surrender of the national patrimony to foreign interests and of the public patrimony to the greedy private initiative that wants to increase the rates of profit by suppressing the Brazilian people’s dignity. There was a complete reversal of the role that Brazil had been ready to fulfill in recent years.

The Brazilian people are facing a new moment of struggle for sovereignty, self-determination and the maintenance of peace. A new moment of resistance begins for the consolidation of a multipolar world where Brazil can fulfill the active role that has always fulfilled in the articulation of the new world.

By Henrique Domingues

Brazil and South Africa discuss increased partnership between countries

Brazilian and South African leaders held a bilateral meeting on Thursday (January 24) to discuss ways to expand trade partnerships between the two countries. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, met in Davos (Switzerland) on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

Bolsonaro presented the economic measures that will be taken by his administration to make the Brazilian economy more open and competitive, expanding trade partnerships. The leaders will also seek to strengthen cooperation ties to address challenges common to both countries, such as unemployment and social inequality.

During the meeting, the South African president said he has no doubt that he will find transformations underway in Brazil when he comes to the country for the BRICS (a group formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Summit, during which leaders of the group will be passed on to Brazil.

 

– Brazil gov news

Bolsonaro: reforms will put Brazil among the top 50 countries to do business with

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, President Jair Bolsonaro said that his administration’s reform will put Brazil among the 50 best countries to do business in the world. He also defended more integration and economic openness and explained that he wants the country to simplify the lives of those who produce and create jobs.

This was the first time a Latin American president delivered the opening address of the forum. President Bolsonaro took the opportunity to explain his government’s agenda. “Be sure that, by the end of my term, our economic team, led by Minister Paulo Guedes, will put us in the ranking of the 50 best countries to do business with,” he said.

The president also explained that the government is working to reduce the tax burden, streamline standards, and make the lives of those who want to produce, do business, invest and create jobs easier. “We will work for macroeconomic stability, respecting contracts, privatizing and balancing the public budget,” he argued.

He assessed that Brazil is still a relatively closed economy to foreign trade and argued that it is necessary to change this. “It’s one of the biggest commitments of this administration,” he said. “We will seek to integrate Brazil into the world by incorporating the best international practices,” he said.

Environment and economic development

During his speech, Bolsonaro explained that his administration’s agenda also includes efforts to harmonize the preservation of the environment and biodiversity with economic development. He also said that the government will protect the right to life and private property and promote an education that will prepare our youth for the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. He argued that the quest for knowledge can reduce misery and poverty.

“Get to know our Amazon, our beaches, our cities, and our Pantanal. Brazil is a paradise, but a largely unknown one,” said the president. “We will invest heavily in public security so that you will visit us with your families. We are almost unrivalled in natural beauty, but we are not even among the 40 most visited tourist destinations in the world,” he argued.

 

 

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