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Brazil Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewBrazil 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. Falling commodity prices reduced export revenues and investment, which weakened the Brazilian real and cut tax revenues. The weaker real made existing public debt, which was largely denominated in foreign currency, more expensive. Lower tax revenues strained the government budget.

Economic reforms, proposed in 2016, aim to slow the growth of government spending and reduce barriers to foreign investment. Government spending growth helped to push public debt to 78% of GDP at the end of 2017, up from 50% in 2012. Policies to strengthen Brazil’s workforce and industrial sector, such as local content requirements, may have boosted employment at the expense of investment.

Former President Dilma ROUSSEFF was impeached and convicted in August 2016 for moving funds among government budgets; the economy has also been affected by multiple corruption scandals involving private companies and government officials. Sanctions against the firms involved — some of the largest in Brazil — has limited their business opportunities, producing a ripple effect on associated businesses and contractors. In addition, investment in these companies has declined because of the scandals.

Brazil is a member of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), a trade bloc including Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. After the Asian and Russian financial crises, Mercosur adopted a protectionist stance to guard against exposure to the volatility of foreign markets. Brazil and its Mercosur partners have pledged to open the bloc to more trade and investment, but changes require approval of all five members, which makes policy adjustments too difficult to enact.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.219 trillion (2017 est.)
$3.195 trillion (2016 est.)
$3.314 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.081 trillion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate0.7% (2017 est.)
-3.6% (2016 est.)
-3.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$15,500 (2017 est.)
$15,500 (2016 est.)
$16,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving16.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
16.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 63.5%
government consumption: 19.9%
investment in fixed capital: 16.6%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 11.8%
imports of goods and services: -11.7% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 6.2%
industry: 21%
services: 72.8%
(2017 est.)
Population below poverty line3.7%
note: approximately 4% of the population are below the "extreme" poverty line (2016 est.)
Labor force111.6 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 10%
industry: 39.8%
services: 50.2%
(2016 est.)
Unemployment rate13.1% (2017 est.)
11.3% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 16.1%
male: 13.8%
female: 21.2% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 41.6% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index49.7 (2014)
55.3 (2001)
Budgetrevenues: $726.6 billion
expenditures: $749 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues34.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt78.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
69.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.7% (2017 est.)
8.7% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate13.75% (31 December 2016 est.)
14.25% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate48.7% (31 December 2017 est.)
52.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$106.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$106.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$761.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$727.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.237 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.138 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$490.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$843.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.02 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Agriculture - productscoffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef
Industriestextiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment
Industrial production growth rate1% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$28.99 billion (2017 est.)
-$23.53 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$215.4 billion (2017 est.)
$184.5 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiestransport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, automobiles
Exports - partnersChina 19%, US 12.6%, Argentina 7.3%, Netherlands 5.6% (2016)
Imports$151.9 billion (2017 est.)
$139.4 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics
Imports - partnersUS 17.6%, China 16.9%, Argentina 6.7%, Germany 6.6%, South Korea 4.4% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$377.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$365 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$554.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$551.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$828.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$763.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$327.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$319.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesreals (BRL) per US dollar -
3.214 (2017 est.)
3.4901 (2016 est.)
3.4901 (2015 est.)
3.3315 (2014 est.)
2.3535 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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