Opinion

Will the economy provide Bolsonaro an electoral lifeline?

Lula has a clear lead in opinion polls, but certain economic tailwinds could put President Bolsonaro right back into contention

President Jair Bolsonaro during an event with executives from Banco do Brasil. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR
President Jair Bolsonaro during an event with executives from Banco do Brasil. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

Considering the recent performance of Brazilian economic indicators, the question in the title above may seem ludicrous. 

Following an unexpectedly fast recovery from the pandemic downturn, Brazil’s economy all but stalled in the second half of last year. Job recovery has been slow, with the 12-percent unemployment rate still a point above already high pre-pandemic levels. High inflation is quickly eroding purchasing power, with average monthly real wages collapsing by 11.5 percent in the 12 months leading up to November 2021.

With hopes that Covid-19 will soon be downgraded to an epidemic, economic issues are expected to replace health...

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