Today we’re launching Brazil by the Numbers, a weekly digest of the most interesting figures tucked inside the latest news about Brazil. Random numbers that help explain what is going on in Brazil. Send any suggestions to [email protected]


10 days of rest

President Jair Bolsonaro will undergo surgery on September 8 to remove a hernia from his abdomen, which was caused by the three previous procedures he underwent after being stabbed last year

during a campaign rally. Mr. Bolsonaro&#8217;s intestines suffered several perforations, causing a loss of 2.5 liters of blood, which brought the president very close to death. Click <a href="https://brazilian.report/power/2018/09/06/bolsonaro-stabbed-rally/">here to recover information</a> on the assassination attempt—and <a href="https://brazilian.report/power/2019/09/06/jair-bolsonaro-stabbing-changed-brazil-one-year-removed/">how it shaped Brazilian politics in the past year</a>. His doctor, Antonio Luiz Macedo, said the president should be released from the hospital in time to attend the United Nations General Assembly, on September 22. Since 1955, Brazil has opened the 5-day &#8220;general debate,&#8221; for a very curious reason: “In very early times, when no one wanted to speak first, Brazil always … offered to do it,” Desmond Parker, the UN’s protocol chief, told <a href="https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129994844?storyId=129994844&amp;mc_cid=b720c4a57d&amp;mc_eid=3fe7a799a2"><em>NPR</em></a> in 2010.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>50,000 new clients per day</h2> <p>Digital bank Nubank announced that it has reached the milestone of 10 million active digital bank accounts. Founded in 2013, the fintech has an astonishing growth rate of 50,000 new accounts per day, according to its own numbers. The company started operations offering credit card services, but found that its digital current account—called NuConta—was the ideal model for gaining scale. Right now, it has clients in every Brazilian municipality—and emerges as a <a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2018/01/17/fintech-bank-concentration/">viable alternative</a> to residents of 2,224 cities which do not have any bank branches. For Nubank, the digital account is the gateway to other financial services—and represents the path towards profitability, which has yet to come. In June, the company announced a USD 400 million funding round led by venture capital firm TCV—an early investor in Netflix and Spotify—pushing the fintech&#8217;s market value to a whopping USD 10 billion.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>2,753 confirmed infections</h2> <p>Brazil&#8217;s Health Ministry has confirmed 2,753 measles cases in the country between June 9 and August 31. Four people died—three in São Paulo and one in Pernambuco. Overall, authorities investigate another 18,000 possible cases. Confirmed infections are concentrated in 13 states, with the near totality in São Paulo (2,708). Rio de Janeiro comes in second place, with just 15 infections. Two years ago, Brazil had been declared free of measles—but lost its status earlier this year. According to Fernando Bellissimo, a professor of Social Medicine at the University of São Paulo, a 20-percent drop in vaccination coverage is the leading cause of the disease&#8217;s comeback. The Brazilian government also blames the recent inflow of immigrants from Venezuela—a country undergoing a full-scale social collapse. Late in August, the federal administration sent 7,500 vaccines to prevent the outbreak from getting worse.</p> <script src="https://www.buzzsprout.com/299876/1079081-20-diseases-that-could-make-a-return-in-brazil.js?player=small" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></script> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>7 states</h2> <p>Earlier this week, reporter Natália Scalzaretto wrote an in-depth article explaining <a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2019/09/05/state-finances-biggest-risk-brazilian-economy/">why state-level finances are the biggest risk for the Brazilian economy</a>. Of Brazil&#8217;s 27 states, seven have declared a state of &#8220;financial calamity.&#8221; In practical terms, the move shuts down several areas of state administrations and delays salaries for civil servants (which are then paid in delayed installments). One of them went as far as choosing to default on banking loans to be able to afford its own payroll. Rating agency Fitch notes that many other states also face dire situations—caused by fiscally irresponsible administrations, coupled with a sluggish overall economy, which has lowered the amount of money raised from taxes.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>259,689 tons</h2> <p>According to market research company DataAgro, Brazil&#8217;s cereal production in the 2019-2020 harvest should go up 5 percent from the previous cycle, reaching 259,689 tons. Planted surface should reach 65,213 million hectares—a 3.1-percent advance. The sector doesn&#8217;t expect climate phenomena El Niño or La Niña to have impacts on production. Through a mathematical model, economists calculated the <a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2019/07/07/climate-change-food-prices-brazil/">impacts of El Niño on food inflation</a> and found that “the climate factor has contributed to deviate food inflation in comparison to historical standards over the past years.” In the first three months of 2019, food inflation has risen 4.34 percent, above the average variation for the period in the past two decades.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>0 wins</h2> <p>Unlike European leagues, the Brazilian football season follows the calendar year. That&#8217;s why local competitions are interrupted every other year during international tournaments such as the World Cup. This year, the league paused between June 14 and July 7 for the Copa America (which Brazil hosted and won). Before the break, defending champions Palmeiras were unbeatable, racking up eight wins and one draw. But since returning to action in July, the club hasn&#8217;t won a single league game. To make matters worse, Palmeiras was eliminated from Copa do Brasil and Copa Libertadores—South America&#8217;s answer to the Champions League. The sequence of poor performances led to the firing of manager Luiz Felipe Scolari—who nevertheless is the winningest coach in Brazilian football, with 27 titles. But he will also be remembered for what is considered to be the most humiliating defeat in World Cup history—when Brazil took a 7-1 pounding from Germany, at home, at the 2014 semifinals.</p> <p>If you like sports, don&#8217;t forget to subscribe to editor <a href="https://brazilian.report/sports-newsletter/">Euan Marshall&#8217;s Monday newsletter on everything Brazilian sports</a>. It&#8217;s free!&nbsp;

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BY Gustavo Ribeiro

An award-winning journalist with experience covering Brazilian politics and international affairs. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets.