Brazil Economy: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Brazil Economy

Brazil Economy: A summary of information about Brazil Economy, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Brazil: Economy

Economy - overview
Possessing large and well-developed agricultural,
mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs
that of all other South American countries and is expanding its
presence in world markets. In the late eighties and early nineties,
high inflation hindered economic activity and investment. The Real
Plan, instituted in the spring of 1994, sought to break inflationary
expectations by pegging the real to the US dollar. Inflation was
brought down to single digit annual figures, but not fast enough to
avoid substantial real exchange rate appreciation during the
transition phase of the Real Plan. This appreciation meant that
Brazilian goods were now more expensive relative to goods from other
countries, which contributed to large current account deficits.
However, no shortage of foreign currency ensued because of the
financial community's renewed interest in Brazilian markets as
inflation rates stabilized and the debt crisis of the eighties faded
from memory. The maintenance of large current account deficits via
capital account surpluses became problematic as investors became more
risk averse to emerging market exposure as a consequence of the Asian
financial crisis in 1997 and the Russian bond default in August 1998.
After crafting a fiscal adjustment program and pledging progress on
structural reform, Brazil received a $41.5 billion IMF-led
international support program in November 1998. In January 1999, the
Brazilian Central Bank announced that the real would no longer be
pegged to the US dollar. This devaluation helped moderate the downturn
in economic growth in 1999 that investors had expressed concerns about
over the summer of 1998. Brazil's debt to GDP ratio of 48% for 1999
beat the IMF target and helped reassure investors that Brazil will
maintain tight fiscal and monetary policy even with a floating
currency. The economy is expected to push growth up to 3% in 2000.
GDP
purchasing power parity - $1.057 trillion (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
0.8% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $6,150 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 14%
industry: 36%
services: 50% (1997)
Population below poverty line
17.4% (1990 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 0.8%
highest 10%: 47.9% (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
5% (1999)
Labor force
74 million (1997 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
services 42%, agriculture 31%, industry
27%
Unemployment rate
7.5% (1999 est.)
Budget
revenues: $151 billion
expenditures: $149 billion, including capital expenditures of $36
billion (1998)
Industries
textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin,
steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and
equipment
Industrial production growth rate
-2.6% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production
316.927 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 4.92%
hydro: 91.02%
nuclear: 0.99%
other: 3.07% (1998)
Electricity - consumption
336.242 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports
41.5 billion kWh
note: imports electricity from Paraguay (1998)
Agriculture - products
coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn,
sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef
Exports
$46.9 billion (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities
manufactures, iron ore, soybeans, footwear,
coffee
Exports - partners
US 18%, Argentina 13%, Germany 5%, Netherlands 5%,
Japan 4% (1999)
Imports
$48.7 billion (f.o.b., 1999)
Imports - commodities
machinery and equipment, chemical products,
oil, electricity
Imports - partners
US 23%, Argentina 12%, Germany 10%, Japan 5%,
Italy 5% (1999)
Debt - external
$200 billion (1999)
Economic aid - recipient
$1.012 billion (1995)
Currency
1 real (R$) = 100 centavos
Exchange rates
reals (R$) per US$1 - 1.804 (January 2000), 1.815
(1999), 1.161 (1998), 1.078 (1997), 1.005 (1996), 0.918 (1995)
note: from October 1994 through 14 January 1999, the official rate was
determined by a managed float; since 15 January 1999, the official
rate floats independently with respect to the US$
Fiscal year
calendar year
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