Brazilian households struggling to meet debt payments

Richard Lapper, Financial Times, 7/31/2015

Brazilians found it much harder to manage household debts in the second quarter of the year, according to a recent survey by FT Confidential Research, a Financial Times’ research service for investors. Of 1,500 respondents, 811 said they found it “difficult” or “very difficult” to pay their debts, up from 755 three months previously and from 687 in the same period of last year.

Retail sales remained relatively buoyant until recent months in spite of a gradual slowdown in the annual rate of economic growth since 2010. But with unemployment rising and increases in overnight interest rates feeding through to rising costs for many borrowers, consumption is weakening. Brazil’s economy is expected to contract by 1.7 per cent in 2015, after registering zero growth last year.

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