Brazil August Retail Sales Rise More Than Analysts Forecast

October 15, 2014

David Biller – Bloomberg, 10/15/2014

Brazil’s retail sales in August rose more than analysts forecast, as the government works to spur growth after the world’s second-biggest emerging market entered recession in the first half of the year.

Sales rose 1.1 percent after a revised 1 percent contraction in July, the national statistics agency said today in Rio de Janeiro. That was the biggest jump since July 2013 and above the median forecast for a 0.8 percent increase from 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The first sales increase since May comes 11 days before the presidential runoff election between challenger Aecio Neves and incumbent Dilma Rousseff. Shoppers’ purchasing power has become a talking point in the race after above-target inflation eroded consumer confidence and the economy shrank in the first half. In June and July Brazil hosted the monthlong World Cup tournament.

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Big Events, Big Risks: Lessons From Brazil’s World Cup

October 2, 2014

Jacqueline Day – Forbes, 09/29/2014

For a month this past summer, billions of fans around the world stayed glued to televisions broadcasting the FIFA World Cup from Brazil. Millions more descended on Brazil to watch the games in person. They came despite the various warnings about Brazil’s readiness to host and fears of widespread, violent protests. Yet, as it should be, the tournament will mostly be remembered for the drama that played out on the pitch: from the Brazilian team’s epic collapse against Germany and the controversy that erupted when Uruguay’s Luis Suarez (some would say allegedly) bit an Italian opponent, to the emergence of Colombian star James Rodriguez.

That the tournament will be remembered first and foremost for the soccer was no small feat and, frankly, a massive surprise. Thousands of corporate VIPs, celebrities and world leaders descending upon a country known for its security, logistics and infrastructure challenges was worrisome enough. Such a backdrop, combined with the disruptive social unrest that flared unexpectedly in 2013, could have easily shifted the storyline away from the sporting competition itself. That it did not is a testament to the hard work and careful preparation of the legions of public and private sector workers, as well as to the Brazilian people’s devotion to “the beautiful game.”

The Brazilian security forces deserve plenty of credit. They took active measures to address lessons learned from the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, effectively managing and containing the smaller-scale protests that did occur, and critically, avoiding the heavy-handed tactics that only aggravated matters in 2013. They were helped by two additional factors. First, many Brazilians who had previously engaged in legitimate and peaceful protest activity during the Confederations Cup were alienated by the violent tactics of anarchist groups, the so-called Black Blocs, with whom they did not want to be associated.  Second, in keeping with custom, most Brazilians cared more about watching the matches than taking to the streets. Even Brazil’s crushing loss to Germany—an event that caused security directors to collectively hold their breath—failed to galvanize the masses to take back to the streets.

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Blatter praises Brazil for great World Cup

September 9, 2014

Mike Collett – Reuters, 09/08/2014

FIFA president Sepp Blatter always believed this year’s World Cup would not be affected by the civil disturbances that blighted the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil and he said he was delighted his prediction came true.

Blatter, 78, described the tournament on Monday as “great” and the “best World Cup” he had been involved in during an interview recorded for delegates at the Soccerex Global convention.

“It was, in my opinion, the best World Cup I have ever seen in the terms of quality of the football and the ambience it created in all the cities, in all the stadia .. Really it went under the skin,” he said.

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Brazil begins recovery from World Cup debacle

September 4, 2014

Craig Davis – Sun Sentinel, 09/03/2014

Just say the score, nothing more. 7-1.

It’s enough to send a chill through the bruised psyche of Brazil all over again. It has been speculated that repercussions of the national team’s stunning loss to Germany by that incomprehensible score in the recent World Cup on home soil could even cost Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff the upcoming election and send the economy into a tailspin.

That’s why Friday’s friendly between Brazil and Colombia at Sun Life Stadium is much more than a typical international exhibition. It is the first chance for Brazil to begin the healing process.

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For Brazil, World Cup success fuels hope for more tourists at Rio Olympics

August 22, 2014

Mimi Whitefield – Miami Herald, 8/21/2014

During the World Cup, more than 1 million international visitors flocked to Brazil — far exceeding pre-tournament expectations.

That wasn’t the only thing topsy-turvy about the world’s biggest sporting event. The Brazilian soccer team was a pre-Cup favorite and many expected Brazil would flub at organizing the June 15-July 15 event. Instead, Brazil was routed in the semifinals and got high marks for its hosting efforts.

Now it hopes to take some of the lessons it learned from organizing a successful World Cup as it barrels full-speed ahead in preparing for its next mega sporting event: the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Brazilian national team brings in 13 new players after disastrous World Cup

August 20, 2014

Nick Schwartz – USA Today Sports, 8/19/2014

Although the host country managed to finish fourth, the World Cup was an unmitigated disaster for the Brazilian national team. After an embarrassing 7-1 loss to Germany 7-1 in the semifinal after a crucial injury to Neymar, the Brazilians bowed out with a lifeless 3-0 loss to The Netherlands in the third-place game. Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari resigned, and it was clear that changes to the squad were needed.

1994 World Cup winner Dunga took over as manager for the second time in his career — he managed Brazil from late 2006 to 2010, when he was fired after the World Cup in South Africa — and he announced a complete overhaul to the team Tuesday. Brazil will come to the United States in September for friendlies against Colombia and Ecuador, but just 10 players remain from the 23 that played in this summer’s World Cup.

Neymar, Oscar, David Luiz, Hulk, Ramires, Willian, Fernandinho, Luiz Gustavo, Maicon and Jefferson remain.

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Brazil’s World Cup Hangover: A Shrinking Economy

August 18, 2014

Meagan Clark – International Business Times, 8/15/2014

Economic activity in Brazil fell sharply in June, the latest sign indicating Latin America’s largest economy could be slipping into a light recession with a presidential election two months away.

The Brazilian central bank’s index of economic activity fell 1.5 percent in June from May after seasonal adjustments, the bank said Friday, the fifth consecutive monthly decline and the worst since summer 2013.

Brazil’s tourism ministry estimated the World Cup attracted a million foreign tourists for the soccer tournament to Brasilia in June, injected $13.2 billion into the country’s economy (about the same the country invested for preparation) and created 1 million jobs. But Brazil’s labor ministry reported the worst job creation in June since 1998. Labor Minister Manoel Dias has partially blamed the World Cup, saying it caused “a drastic drop in consumption” that led to less working days and less hiring, the Wall Street Journal reported from Brasilia.

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