Numbers of the week: Nov. 23, 2019

. Nov 23, 2019
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This is 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. This week: the Brazilian currency reaches record lows against the U.S. Dollar, formal jobs creation is set to reach the best year since 2014, listed companies profit more, neo-Nazi groups proliferate in Brazil, and legendary soccer player Pelé celebrates the 50th anniversary of his most memorable goal.

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BRL 4.20 at 4.20

The clock flashed 4.20 pm when

Brazil&#8217;s currency plunged to its all-time lowest nominal value against the U.S. Dollar: fittingly, BRL 4.20. The Brazilian Real is now one of the worst-performing emerging currencies this year—only faring better than the Chilean Peso and Argentine Peso. As bad as it may seem, we explained in a <a href="">November 15 story</a> that, when taking inflation into account, the currency exchange rate is not even close to the <a href="">levels</a> seen in 2002. Also, in a <a href="">November 20 story</a>, we showed that, unlike in the past, the devaluation of Brazil&#8217;s currency doesn&#8217;t <em>necessarily</em> mean the country is in a bad political and economic place—rather it is actually being considered “guilty by association,” as neighboring countries are going through social unrest. The U.S.-China trade war, as well as liquidity issues caused by low interest rates, also play a part. However, as Brazil&#8217;s Central Bank chairman Roberto Campos Neto said on November 19, inflation will remain &#8220;low and stable in the short, mid and long term,” meaning that the USD rise is pushing inflation rates up for now.&nbsp;</p> <h2>70,852 net jobs</h2> <p>According to the Economy Ministry, Brazil created 70,852 jobs in October. Though the number was below analysts’ projections of 75,000, the results led Brazil to a seventh consecutive month of positive employment numbers. So far, Brazil has a positive balance of 841,589 jobs created in 2019, making it the best year since 2014, when 912,287 new positions were created. Earlier this week, Brazil’s official statistics bureau IBGE said the unemployment rate for Q3 had fallen to 11.8 percent—corresponding to 12.5 million people. However, the quality of those jobs is questioned, as 41.4 percent of workers are in informal conditions.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>10.6 percent</h2> <p>This is how much profits from 309 Brazilian listed companies grew in Q3 in comparison to last year, according to consultancy Economática. Together, their profits reached BRL 59.7 billion. As we mentioned in our <a href="">November 20 Daily Briefing</a>, the biggest contributor was Brazil’s state-owned oil and gas firm Petrobras, with profits of BRL 9 billion. But, when it comes to specific sectors, banking remains the country’s most profitable, with BRL 21.6 billion in profits. On the other end of Economatica’s list, pulp and paper producer Suzano registered the biggest losses in Q3: BRL 3.46 billion—pressured by high cellulose stocks and weak demand from China—dragging the sector down with it.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>9,762 square kilometers</h2> <p>From Aug 2018 to July 2019, 9,762 square kilometers of the <a href="">Amazon rainforest were deforested</a>. That is 29.5 percent more than in the previous year, according to the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe). Despite reaching the highest level since 2008, President Bolsonaro&#8217;s government dismissed the results, saying that deforestation rates have been rising since 2012, and that deforestation is &#8220;cultural&#8221; and impossible to eradicate. However, his administration has systematically loosened environmental controls and dismantled protection agencies. The former director of Inpe, Ricardo Galvão, was dismissed by Mr. Bolsonaro earlier in the year, after he criticized deforestation data.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>334 neo-Nazi groups&nbsp;</h2> <p>A Brazilian researcher has found at least 334 neo-Nazi groups currently active in Brazil.&nbsp; According to the study, they are mostly concentrated in the southern regions. Besides Hitlerist groups, others are white supremacists, Holocaust deniers, and even <a href="">three Ku Klux Klan organizations</a>. The two KKK clubs were found in Blumenau, in the state of Santa Catarina, and Niterói, Rio de Janeiro state. The state with the most groups is São Paulo, with 99—28 in the state capital alone—followed by Santa Catarina (69), Paraná (66), and Rio Grande do Sul (47). Experts have warned about the rise of far-right movements around the country. Safernet, the association focused on the online defense of human rights, classifies a neo-Nazi &#8220;cell&#8221; as a group of between three to 20 members.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>1,000th goal, 50 years ago</h2> <p>Pelé, arguably the greatest football player in history, scored 1,281 times during his career. On November 19, 1969, he became the first to reach the historic landmark of 1,000 goals, scoring a penalty kick against Rio de Janeiro side Vasco da Gama. Besides his wealth of goals, Pelé retired with a full trophy cabinet, winning three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), two Copa Libertadores (1962 and 1963), and six Brazilian championships (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, and 1968), among many, many others.

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