Brazilian President’s approval rating drops

February 9, 2015

Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 2/8/2015

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff ’s approval rating fell to a record low for her amid Brazil’s poor economic performance and corruption allegations involving the state-run energy company, poll results showed Sunday.

According to a survey by the Datafolha polling institute, 23% of respondents said the Rousseff administration was “excellent or good,” compared with 42% in a poll published in December. Ms. Rousseff’s approval rating reached the lowest level for a country’s president since 1999, when Fernando Henrique Cardoso was in the post.

The drop in Ms. Rousseff’s approval rating came as Brazil´s economy is failing to regain traction and state-run energy company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, is in the middle of a corruption scandal.

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Petrobras to help pull Brazil into recession

February 9, 2015

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes Magazine, 2/9/2015

A few months ago, I asked here whether Petrobras could possibly disappoint investors more? That answer is now a resounding yes, it can!

Last week, two of Brazil’s largest banks revised their 2015 forecast for the country’s GDP. Thanks to Petrobras, it’s now negative. Only Russia and Argentina’s economy is expected to do worse than Brazil’s within the emerging market universe. As they say in Portuguese, “parabens”.

Or…congratulations, Petrobras, for a job terribly done.

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DEALTALK – Banks pin hopes for Brazil IPO revival on Levy’s success

February 4, 2015

Guillermo Parra-Bernal – Reuters, 02/04/2015

Any revival in initial public offerings in Brazil seems to hinge on whether new Finance Minister Joaquim Levy can clean up public finances and get the country’s economy back on track.

Strengthening the market for new listings depends increasingly on how much leeway President Dilma Rousseff will give the University of Chicago-trained economist to cut Brazil’s record budget gap and reverse the interventionist policies that marred her first term.

Stung by dozens of deals that failed to deliver the promised returns in recent years, money managers have become cautious about Brazilian offerings. In 2014, only one company went public on the São Paulo Stock Exchange, the worst performance for domestic IPOs in 11 years.

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Brazil registers record deficit in current accounts

January 26, 2015

Lise Alves – The Rio Times, 1/26/2015

Brazil’s current accounts in 2014 registered a record deficit of US$90.948 billion, according to data released by Brazil’s Central Bank (CB) on Friday, January 23rd. The result was well above 2013’s deficit of US$81.108 billion and the highest registered since the CB started the series in 1947.

Last year’s annual deficit is equivalent to 4.17 percent of the country’s GDP, the worst result since 2001.

The Central Bank released both December 2014 results as well as results for the entire year. For December, the country’s current account, which is measured by the sum of the balance of trade (goods and services exports less imports), net income from abroad and net current transfers, registered a deficit of US$10.317 billion.

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Brazil’s 2015 economic outlook darkens as fiscal measures bite

January 26, 2015

Reuters, 1/26/2014

The outlook for Brazil’s economic health this year has worsened considerably, according to data released on Monday, as analysts weigh the impact of painful fiscal measures and consumers become increasingly worried about the future.

Economists sharply raised their forecasts for Brazil’s 2015 inflation rate while slashing their economic growth estimate for the year, a weekly central bank poll showed on Monday.

The median forecast of about 100 market economists shows 2015 ending with inflation at 6.99 percent, up from 6.53 percent a month ago. Brazil’s government targets a rate of 4.5 percent, with a tolerance margin of two percentage points.


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Brazil’s 2015 Economic Growth Will Be ‘Almost Flat,’ Says Finance Minister

January 23, 2015

Matt Murray – The Wall Street Journal, 1/23/2015

DAVOS, Switzerland—Brazil’s economic growth will be “almost flat” in 2015 amid a series of tax increases and spending cuts at home, as well as slower global growth, Finance Minister Joaquim Levy said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“We have to deal with short-term issues on investment,” Mr. Levy said. “There are lots of things to be done in Brazil.”

A survey of economists by the country’s central bank this month forecast that Brazil’s GDP will grow by only 0.5% this year, following an estimated 0.15% expansion in 2014.

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In Brazil, a once-high-flying economy takes a tumble

January 14, 2015

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro – NPR, 1/14/2014

It was a terrible Christmas season for stores in Brazil. For the first time in more than a decade — since 2003 — sales went down.

Roberta Pimenta owns a small shop selling children’s clothes at the Butanta mall in Sao Paulo, which is aimed squarely at the middle-class shoppers who live in the area.

“It was the worst drop in sales since I’ve had this store,” Pimenta says. “In seven years it was the worst year I had. And every year you have a 10 percent increase of employees’ salary, 10 percent increase in the rent, 10 percent in everything, so it is horrible.”

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