Coronavirus

Economic pessimism reaches new highs

Economic pessimism reaches new record highs in Brazil
Photo: Estudio Maia/Shutterstock

According to pollster Datafolha, two in three Brazilians say the country’s economy is unlikely to improve in the near future. Only 11 percent of people believe the economic outlook is positive, down from 28 percent in December.

Datafolha has monitored economic optimism since 1997 — and never before have Brazilians been so pessimistic. The previous record came during the Dilma Rousseff presidency in March 2015, when the country was about to enter what was then its worst recession on record. 

The worsening in people’s perception of economic conditions coincides with Brazil’s worst moment of the coronavirus pandemic so far. Hospitals around the country are running out of beds and intubation equipment, while some fear imminent oxygen shortages. Experts call the current situation the “single worst health crisis in Brazilian history.”

Meanwhile, President Jair Bolsonaro is taking to the Supreme Court to prevent local administrations from enacting lockdown-like measures. And the government has fumbled vaccination rollouts — only 5 percent of the population have received at least one vaccine shot.

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