The Covid-19 pandemic has caused levels of economic unpredictability to skyrocket in Brazil. The Brazilian Economic Uncertainty Index (IIE-Br), compiled by the Brazilian Institute of Economics at think tank Fundação Getúlio Vargas (IBRE-FGV), has hit its highest mark in history, far above measurements recorded amid previous 21st-century crises. In April 2020, the IIE-Br reached 210.5 points. In its previous peaks — at the 2002 presidential election, the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and Brazil’s loss of investment-grade rating by S&P in 2015 — the index hit 132.1, 132.4, and 136.8 points, respectively.
The so-called “standardization window” of the IIE-Br came between January 2006 and December 2015, where the average uncertainty hit 100 points, considered ‘normal.’ Therefore, the 210.5 points seen in April 2020 is extremely high for the index’s standards. July saw the IIE-Br retreat to 163.7 points, but this is still much higher than previous peaks.