At the end of 2019, the mood in Brazil was one of cautious optimism. In the wake of the approval of a sweeping pension reform, the expectation was that the country had what it takes to approve other structural issues, such as simplifying Brazil’s Byzantine tax code, approving a new regulatory framework for sanitation services, and rationalizing the structure of public service in the country.
However, as was the case in countries around the world, the pandemic shattered any hopes of a positive year in economic terms.
The agenda in Congress was consumed by coronavirus-related bills (as political scientist Beatriz Rey showed, they accounted for 46 percent of all legislation passed this year) and the government was forced to pour roughly BRL 1 trillion (USD 196 billion) in aid to companies and welfare policies to reduce the pain imposed by the crisis.
We have selected nine charts which explain how 2020 was much different from expectations: