According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, Brazil’s GDP dropped by 1.5 percent in Q1 2020 from the previous quarter, in line with market projections. The number seems at first significantly better than China’s (-9.8 percent) or the Euro Zone (-3.3 percent). However, this does not mean the Brazilian economy hasn’t been badly hit by the pandemic, it is rather a reflection of the fact that the coronavirus arrived in Brazil later, with the first confirmed case only being recorded on February 26.
Data from the Organization for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) shows that only Chile (3 percent) and Finland (0.1 percent) recorded positive GDP growth in Q1 2020 among the world’s 50 largest economies. Analysis by economist Marcel Balassiano, of think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas, indicates that 82 percent of the countries monitored by the International Monetary Fund should outperform Brazil’s economy over the 2020-2021 period.
Since the 2014-2016 recession, Brazil has registered the worst economic stretch ever on record. And the outlook going forward is grim — as our Daily Briefing shows today, the coronavirus has ravaged the job market, even for the informal, low-paying workers that increasingly make up the country’s labor force.
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