Brazil is reopening its economy. Tell that to consumers

Despite an effort by elected officials to give the Brazilian economy a kickstart, consumption should remain low for a long time

consumers reopening economy
The economy is reopening. But people are not consuming. Photo: Andréa Rêgo Barros/PCR

“While we don’t show society that we have controlled the disease and have a way out from it, any attempt of a way out will be bad, because fear will prevent you from treating the economy as a priority.” 

The warning, made by former Health Minister Nelson Teich in a videotaped April 22 cabinet meeting, turned out to be prescient. As seven Brazilian states begin lifting quarantine rules, consumption remains below average in all of them. In some, such as Southeast state Espírito Santo, demand will be less than 40 percent of pre-pandemic figures, according to industry leaders. 

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