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Brazil Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

Brazil is the eighth-largest economy in the world, but is recovering from a recession in 2015 and 2016 that ranks as the worst in the country’s history. In 2017, Brazil`s GDP grew 1%, inflation fell to historic lows of 2.9%, and the Central Bank lowered benchmark interest rates from 13.75% in 2016 to 7%.

The economy has been negatively affected by multiple corruption scandals involving private companies and government officials, including the impeachment and conviction of Former President Dilma ROUSSEFF in August 2016. Sanctions against the firms involved — some of the largest in Brazil — have limited their business opportunities, producing a ripple effect on associated businesses and contractors but creating opportunities for foreign companies to step into what had been a closed market.

The succeeding TEMER administration has implemented a series of fiscal and structural reforms to restore credibility to government finances. Congress approved legislation in December 2016 to cap public spending. Government spending growth had pushed public debt to 73.7% of GDP at the end of 2017, up from over 50% in 2012. The government also boosted infrastructure projects, such as oil and natural gas auctions, in part to raise revenues. Other economic reforms, proposed in 2016, aim to reduce barriers to foreign investment, and to improve labor conditions. Policies to strengthen Brazil’s workforce and industrial sector, such as local content requirements, have boosted employment, but at the expense of investment.

Brazil is a member of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), a trade bloc that includes Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay - Venezuela’s membership in the organization was suspended In August 2017. After the Asian and Russian financial crises, Mercosur adopted a protectionist stance to guard against exposure to volatile foreign markets and it currently is negotiating Free Trade Agreements with the European Union and Canada.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$3.248 trillion (2017 est.)
$3.216 trillion (2016 est.)
$3.332 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$2.055 trillion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
1.13% (2019 est.)
1.2% (2018 est.)
1.62% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$15,600 (2017 est.)
$15,600 (2016 est.)
$16,300 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
15% of GDP (2017 est.)
14.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 63.4% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 20% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 15.6% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 12.6% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -11.6% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 6.6% (2017 est.)
industry: 20.7% (2017 est.)
services: 72.7% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
4.2% (2016 est.)

note: approximately 4% of the population are below the "extreme" poverty line

Labor force
86.621 million (2020 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 9.4%
industry: 32.1%
services: 58.5% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate
11.93% (2019 est.)
12.26% (2018 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 28.5%
male: 25.3%
female: 32.8% (2018 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 0.8%
highest 10%: 43.4% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
49 (2014)
54 (2004)
Budget
revenues: 733.7 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 756.3 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
35.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
84% of GDP (2017 est.)
78.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
3.4% (2017 est.)
8.7% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
7% (31 December 2017 est.)
13.75% (31 December 2016)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
46.92% (31 December 2017 est.)
52.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$110.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$106.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$110.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$106.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$2.206 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.138 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$642.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$561.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$420 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Agriculture - products
coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef
Industries
textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment
Industrial production growth rate
0% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$50.927 billion (2019 est.)
-$41.54 billion (2018 est.)
Exports
$217.2 billion (2017 est.)
$184.5 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, automobiles
Exports - partners
China 21.8%, US 12.5%, Argentina 8.1%, Netherlands 4.3% (2017)
Imports
$153.2 billion (2017 est.)
$139.4 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics
Imports - partners
China 18.1%, US 16.7%, Argentina 6.3%, Germany 6.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$374 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$367.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$547.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$548.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$778.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$703.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$358.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$341.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
reals (BRL) per US dollar -
3.19 (2017 est.)
3.48 (2016 est.)
3.4901 (2015 est.)
3.3315 (2014 est.)
2.3535 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020