Tag Archives: GDP

Brazilian Government Announces Economic Package with 12 Measures

President Michel Temer announced on Thursday (15) a new economic package with measures to stimulate the economy. Also taking part in the announcement were the house or representative’s president, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), Senate’s President Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL), Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles and the Minister of Planning, Dyogo Oliveira.

Temer started the announcement saying that the goal is to stimulate growth and reduce unemployment. Before announcing the measures officially, the president commented on the approval of the PEC 241, which limits spending increases for the next 20 years, approved on Wednesday.

According to Temer, “these reforms aim to increase the growth of the Brazilian economy. We never ignored the difficulties that we would have when we took over the government, but we are succeeding in advancing these topics.”

Despite being positive for the economy, these 12 measures are seen as a desperate way to try and deviate the attention from the corruption investigations that are currently hitting Temer’s government right in the core. In any case, the measures are positive. To them:

Tax Debt Negotiation

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles was responsible for giving more details on each of the measures. The first provides for tax debt negotiation for companies with debts due through November 30. Meirelles said that “any tax debt” is eligible, including social security. For debts that are being questioned in the Court, it is necessary to prove the desistance of the lawsuits.

“The program allows tax negotiations for companies that are preparing to grow again, as macroeconomic adjustment is under way,” said Meirelles.

Guaranteed Property Letter

Another measure, according to Meirelles, is the regulation of the “Letra Imobiliária Garantida”, an instrument of funding for real estate credit. The objective is to broaden the supply of long-term credit for civil construction.

Meirelles said that this type of bond, being both secure and long-term, is an “important alternative source for real estate lending and increases the supply of long-term lending to the industry.” This measure will have to go through public consultation and then be regulated by the National Monetary Council (CMN).

Improvement in the “positive register”

Meirelles also announced the improvement of the positive credit rating, which allows the creditor to analyze the person’s history. Membership becomes automatic, and exclusion has to be requested. The goal is to reduce credit risk and make room for lower interest rates for good payers.

Credit measures

Meirelles says another measure is to allow price differentiation according to the mode of payment. Such a change allows retailers to charge different prices depending on the payment mode used, ie different prices if the customer pays cash or credit card, which is currently prohibited by law. He recalled that it is common for stores to give discounts for purchases made in cash, but not the same on credit cards.

Reduction of card interest

Another measure presented by Meirelles is the reduction of interest rates on the credit card charged to the consumer and the term of payment to the merchant. The minister says the regulation should be submitted within 10 days.

Bank spread

According to the finance minister, the government is also proposing the creation of the electronic duplicate with the objective of reducing the so-called “spread” of the banks (difference between the rate of funding, close to the basic rate of the economy, at 13.75%/ year today, and the rate charged to bank customers).

“We want to create a central registry of duplicates, credit card receivables and allow the granting of credit with a lower guarantee, which increases the security for creditors and the supply of credit for small and medium-sized enterprises, with lower interest rates. “, he said.

Reduction of bureaucracy

On the issue of de-bureaucratization, Meirelles says that they will simplify the payment of labor, social security and tax obligations through a system called eSocial. The objective is to reduce the time spent by companies to fill declarations, forms and books and the redundancy of information provided to the tax authorities. The deadline for implementation in all companies would be July 2018.

Refund of taxes

Another proposal is to simplify the procedures for restitution and compensation of the taxes administered by Receita (Brazilian IRS), including the compensation between the social security contribution and other taxes.

Business Start-up

Meirelles says another measure will reduce the time to open ventures. A national network for simplifying the registration and legalization of companies and businesses will be implemented.

Competitiveness

The government also announced measures to speed up purchases and sales in foreign trade. According to Minister Meirelles, a single web-accessible portal will be created to forward all documents and data required for business transactions with other countries.

“The idea is to cut import and export procedures by 40 percent”, he said. The implementation period for exports is until March 2017 and for purchases from abroad until the end of next year.

BNDES

Following this, the Minister of Planning, Dyogo Henrique de Oliveira, spoke about other measures. The first deals with the increase from R$ 90 million to R$ 300 million the limit to access the BNDES credit for micro, small and medium enterprises.

Companies with up to R$ 300 million in revenues can also renegotiate debts of operations of up to R$ 20 million with the BNDES. Therefore, companies can seek cheaper interest rates, based on the Long-Term Interest Rate (currently at 7.5% per year).

According to him, the total volume of refinancing is estimated at R$ 100 billion, which will “increase the liquidity of companies”.  “Today, companies are suffering from a great deal of liquidity,” said the Planning Minister.

For large companies, with revenues above R$ 300 million per year, operations included in the Investment Support Program (PSI) may be refinanced. “These refinanced amounts will be with BNDES’ own resources, but with funds with TJLP (Long-Term Interest Rate) funding, with a lower cost”, he said.

FGTS

Another measure announced is the distribution of half of the profits in the FGTS to the workers. “That is to say, when there are profits, part of them will continue to be deposited and the other half will be made available to the worker to pay debts or make a different use”, he said.

Still on the FGTS, he announced the gradual reduction of the additional fine of 10% – which is paid by employers at the time of dismissal of employees, on top of the 40% that goes to employees. According to him, the idea is to reduce that 10% at the rate of one percentage point a year to relieve the entrepreneurs.

Brazilian Economy shrinks 0.51% in May, according to the Central Bank

The Brazilian economy has not confirmed the brief improvement in April. The Economic Activity Index Central Bank (IBC-Br) fell 0.51% in May, after growing 0.07% in April (revised), which was the first increase in 15 months. In the year, the decline was a significant 5.79%.

In the 12 months ending in May, the IBC-Br indicates a decrease of 5.43% in the series without adjustment and 5.51% in the adjusted data. Due to the constant indicator review, the IBC-Br measured for 12 months is more stable than the monthly measurement. Compared with May 2015, there was a low of 4.91% in the series without adjustment and 5.32% with adjustment.

The results came worse than expected by the market players. The average of forecasts made by 21 financial institutions suggested a decrease of 0.24% in the month. Estimates ranged from a decrease of 0.9% and increase of 0.1% for the monthly variation.

In the June Inflation Report, the central bank projected a drop of 3.3% in the GDP for 2016, against the previous forecast of a 3.5% decline. Analysts consulted for making the Focus Bulletin also point to a decrease of 3.3% for the Brazilian economy this year.

What to Expect for Brazilian Interest Rate in 2016

Monetary Policy Committee (COPOM) has decided to keep the Brazilian interest rate benchmark in Brazil (SELIC) at 14.25% a year, unanimously. The central bank repeated the note issued with the previous decision, in which it says “we see advances in the inflation fighting but the still elevated cost of living and expectations are out of the target”.

Even with the repeated note, economists started to review their opinions about when the interest rate will go down again. The last meeting was still ran by central bank president Alexandre Tombini. Now, Ilan Goldfajn will be the one responsible  to deal with variables like economic recession and inflation. Inflation, by the way, that was showing signs of reduction but has again showed resilience.

According to newspaper Folha de São Paulo, despite inflation have shown acceleration in May, the interim government of Michel Temer believes that the fall in the US Dollar exchange rate and the credibility of the new economic team opens space for a reduction in the SELIC. The government is working under the assumption of inflation declaration by year end as well as a further drop in the US$. According to the report, Folha’s initial forecast was for a drop in the interest rate in July but now this may be postponed till August.

And that review in expectation was also followed by other investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs and Bradesco. Bradesco now believes the interest rate benchmark will end the year at 12.75% versus 12.25% before.

China-Brazil infrastructure cooperation mutually beneficial

Infrastructure cooperation between China and Brazil is mutually beneficial and should be further strengthened, experts say.Brazil hopes to attract Chinese investment in highways, railways, ports, airports and other infrastructure projects, while the Chinese government regards infrastructure building key to bilateral cooperation, they say.

“The Brazilian government can count on infrastructure investment as a way to overcome the current economic recession, and promote economic and social development,” Xie Wenze, a visiting scholar from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

A 1-percent increase in infrastructure investment can raise Brazil’s GDP by about 0.6 percent, he said.

Currently, bilateral infrastructure cooperation is mainly centered on one-off projects. Equity mergers and acquisitions around these projects are expected to bring long-term benefits for both sides, according to Xie.

Bilateral energy cooperation has yielded great results in recent years. China’s State Grid Corp. has expanded its business in Brazil as a result.

“The experience of equity mergers and acquisitions on the part of China’s State Grid Corp. could be promoted to other … projects in railways, highways, ports and other areas,” said Ivanildo Marcos Beltrao, a Brazilian company official.

To support cooperation projects between China and regional countries, the China-Latin American Cooperation Fund was launched in early January with a startup capital of 10 billion U.S. dollars.

A similar 10-billion-dollar fund was set up in September, 2015 to support China’s investment in an array of medium- and long-term projects in Latin America.

Foreign investment in Brazil grows in September, covers external gap

Brazil’s current account deficit grew wider than expected in September but was easily covered by foreign investments, central bank data showed on Friday. 

Brazil posted a current account deficit of $3.076 billion in September, larger than a gap of $2.487 billion in August and the $2.3 billion deficit forecast by economists for the month, central bank data showed on Friday. 

Brazil attracted $6.037 billion in foreign direct investments last month, up from $5.246 billion in August, the central bank said. 

Despite the monthly increase, the current account deficit declined as a percentage of Brazil’s gross domestic product in the 12 months through September. It was equivalent to 4.18 percent of GDP, down from 4.34 percent in the previous month. 

A weaker Brazilian real is helping exporters and curbing imports, boosting the country’s trade balance after the country recorded its first deficit in 14 years in 2014. 

Brazil’s currency dropped more than 30 percent this year to a record low of more than 4 per dollar as investors fret over a steep rise of the country’s debt. 

Brazil’s GDP contracted 2.6% in Q2 2015 from a year earlier, worse than expected

The Brazilian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) fell by 1.9% in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2015, according to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) announced on Friday (28). On an year-over-year basis, the decline was 2.6%. The GDP in the 1st half of 2015 decreased by 2.1% compared to the same period 2014, following the negative growth of 0.4% in the six months ended in December 2014.

Analysts estimated a decline of 1.7% in the second quarter 2015 compared to the first quarter, taking into account the average of Bloomberg survey estimates. In the annual comparison basis, it was expected a drop of 2.1%.

Accumulated in the four quarters ending in the second quarter of 2015, GDP decreased by 1.2% compared to the immediately previous four quarters, also the number recorded in the accumulated result of the year until the month of June was 2.1% over the same period of 2014. In absolute number, GDP in the second quarter of 2015 reached R$ 1.43 trillion (Aprox. US$ 400 billion).

In the quarterly contraction, agriculture had contraction of 2.7%, while the industry fell by 4.3% and services showed 0.7% contraction. In industry, the largest decrease occurred in construction: a decrease of 8.4%. The manufacturing industry, with (-3.7%) and electricity activities and gas, water, sewage and urban cleaning (-1.5%) also fell in the second quarter. On the other hand, mining registered a positive variation of 0.3%.

In services; administration, health and public education (1.9%) and real estate activities (0.3%) showed positive results. The other activities suffered retraction compared to the previous quarter: trade (-3.3%), transport, storage and postal services (-2.0%), information services (-1.3%), other services (-1,0%) and financial intermediation and insurance (-0.2%).

From the perspective of expenditure, gross fixed capital formation recorded the eighth consecutive quarter of decline in this comparison: 8.1%. The households’ consumption expenditure (-2.1%) fell for the second straight quarter. However the government consumption expenditure grew by 0.7% compared to the previous quarter. In regards to the external sector, exports of goods and services increased by 3.4%, while imports of goods and services fell 8.8% in the first quarter 2015.

All components of domestic demand fell, comparing the second quarter of 2015 against the same period in 2014. The households’ consumption expenditure (-2.7%) registered the second consecutive decrease. This result can be explained by the deterioration in the inflation indicators, interest rates, credit, employment and income over the period.

The gross fixed capital formation suffered contraction of 11.9% in the second quarter of 2015, the highest since the first quarter of 1996 (-12.7%). This decline is explained mainly by the fall in imports and domestic production of capital goods, and also by the negative performance in construction, says the IBGE. The government consumption expenditure, in turn, fell 1.1% in the second quarter of 2014. In the external sector, exports of goods and services expanded by 7.5%, while imports of goods and services fell by 11.7%, both influenced by the currency devaluation of 38% in the period.

The investment rate in the second quarter 2015 was 17.8% of GDP, lower than in the same period last year (19.5%). The savings rate was 14.4% in the second quarter of 2015 (compared to 16.0% in the same period of 2014).

After Two Months of Contraction, Brazilian GDP Remains Stable in May

After two months of contraction, the Brazilian economy remained stable in May. According to the metric from the Central Bank (IBC-Br), the activity had a modest rise of 0.03% in May compared with April, when it had shrunk 0.88% (revised from 0.84%), in the seasonally adjusted series.

May result was below the estimated by analysts. The average forecast suggested a high of 0.1% in May.

bancocentralIn the 12 months ending in May, the IBC-Br shows a decrease of 1.68% in the adjusted series and fall of 1.72% in the observed data. Due to the constant indicator reviews, the IBC-Br measured in 12 months is more stable than the monthly measurement, like the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the year, the IBC-Br decreased 2.78% without adjustment and 2.64% without adjustment for seasonality. Compared to May 2014, the activity shows contraction of 4.75% without adjustment and 3.08% in the adjusted data.

The Central Bank (BC) continues to add to its data the new methodology adopted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Thus, revisions are made steadily in the historical series. Data for December 2014 went from 0.97% to 0.95% contraction. In February, the growth was 0.71% instead of 0.7%; in March, there was a decrease of 1.53% instead of 1.51%.

Although it is known as “the BC GDP”, the IBC-Br has different calculation methodology from the official GDP calculated by IBGE. The IBC-Br takes into consideration the estimated production for the three sectors plus tax. But the GDP calculated by the IBGE is the sum of all goods and services produced in the country for a certain period.

In the June Inflation Report, the central bank projected a fall in GDP of 1.1% in 2015. Analysts consulted for making the Focus bulletin estimated contraction of 1.5%.

Brazilian GDP beats expectation in Q3 and grows 1.5% QoQ. But is that sustainable?

The result of the GDP may have shown some relief that the economy is still growing. However, this result is still not a guarantee that the situation is better and that the growth in the year will be higher than current expectations, around 2.5% YoY, the so called PIBinho, diminutive for GDP in Portuguese.

Manufacturing GDP should fall significantly this Q3, due to deceleration in the transformation industry and important slowdown in the building industry.

Inflation is also close to the top of the range targeted by the central bank: 2.5% – 6.5%. This is having them raise the interest rate index SELIC, which is already at 9% a year. The recent weakening of Brazilian real will cause inflationary pressures and will cause the central bank to keep raising rates and cooling down the economy growth.

Any military intervention in Syria would cause an even worse scenario for GDP growth, with investments flowing from emerging markets into US treasuries and other safe options in developed world. This will reduce the money available for investment in Brazil as well as get the Brazilian Real even weaker.

The good news is that sectors mainly focused on exports and sectors that compete heavily with imports are getting a relief from the current weaker Real. That is the case of steal, lumber, agriculture and manufacturing in general. This can in the mid-term help offset this down spiral caused by weak GDP/ High Inflation.

So, while the 1.5% QoQ growth was better than expected and a little bit of a relief, especially to the politicians, this number is looking at the rear-view mirror and should not continue to happen in the short term and even in the long term, if fiscal reforms are not adopted in the country.