Numbers of the week: Feb. 1, 2020

. Feb 01, 2020
minister deaths war covid-19 Brazil by the Numbers oil bolsonaro energy bhp country risk marielle poverty rio currency amazon paraisópolis xp 2019 inflation nazi imf coronavirus carnival Iron ore femicides coronavirus deaths

This is Brazil by the Numbers, a weekly digest of the most interesting figures tucked inside the latest news about Brazil. A selection of numbers that help explain what is going on in Brazil. This week: Suspected coronavirus infections; Brazilian fiscal deficit shrinks; the most expensive transfer in the history of Brazilian soccer; Brazil’s efforts to ban foot-and-mouth disease; São Paulo’s homeless population growing; and stronger signs of recovery in unemployment levels. 

Send any suggestions to

</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>13 suspected coronavirus cases </h2> <p>The Health Ministry is monitoring 13 potential coronavirus infections in six Brazilian states. So far, none have been confirmed. As Dr. Rosana Richtmann, an infectious diseases specialist at the Emilio Ribas Institute, told our <a href=""><em>Explaining Brazil</em> podcast</a>, it is only a matter of time until a coronavirus case is confirmed, but the risks of an epidemic for Brazil remain slim. Her justification for this view is that the country&#8217;s high summer temperatures do not favor the transmission of respiratory diseases. However, the global fears of a coronavirus pandemic have rattled markets. Exporting companies, such as mining giant Vale, have been feeling the blow, as investors are alarmed by the impacts of the outbreak to the Chinese economy, Brazil’s <a href="">top trading partner</a>. </p> <p>Meanwhile, the Bolsonaro administration said it will only repatriate Brazilian nationals from regions affected by the coronavirus if quarantine conditions are set up in Brazil.</p> <div id="buzzsprout-player-2608606"></div> <script src=";player=small" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></script> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>11.9 percent </h2> <p>This is the rate of Brazilians who were out of work at the end of last year, corresponding to over 12.6 million people. Though unemployment rates remain high, they are smaller than a year ago (12.3 percent), which is a positive sign for the economy. On the other hand, the quality of these jobs is questionable, as informality has reached 41.1 percent of the overall working population. Moreover, one in six workers is either unemployed or underemployed. As we’ve mentioned in our <a href="">January 29 Daily Briefing</a>, the gig economy has been one of the drivers of Brazil’s economic activity—and this scenario of precarious work is raising concerns among scholars, who fear the erosion of Brazil&#8217;s social security system.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 95 billion</h2> <p>Brazil&#8217;s public deficit continues to get lower, currently sitting at around 1.3 percent of GDP (BRL 95 billion). The result was significantly below the BRL 139-billion deficit target for the year, but there’s little hope for public accounts to get back to black before 2022. As a result of six years of primary deficit, Brazil’s public debt reached BRL 4.24 trillion, the highest ever. As we explained in our <a href="">January 30 Daily Briefing</a>, pensions gobbled up 8.6 percent of the country&#8217;s GDP. Moreover, the pension system deficit sat at BRL 317 billion, considering both civil servants’ pensions and private workers’ benefits. Meanwhile, so-called “non-mandatory” expenses—which include investments—have fallen to 2010 levels.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>98.35 percent</h2> <p>The Agriculture Ministry informed that over 98 percent of Brazil&#8217;s buffalo and bovine herds up to 24 months old (84 million animals) were vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease in 2019. Brazil has not seen a foot-and-mouth infection since 2006 and has been declared <a href="">free of the disease</a>—with vaccination—by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). This status grants access to markets such as China, but not to stricter buyers such as Japan. The Brazilian federal government has an ongoing plan to make Brazil free of foot-and-mouth disease without the need for vaccines by 2023. This week, the government announced a cooperation plan with India to share experiences and technical knowledge regarding the disease.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>25 percent</h2> <p>In recent years, Roraima—Brazil&#8217;s northernmost state —received a massive <a href="">inflow of Venezuelan migrants</a>. According to government data, border crossing remains at a daily average of 500 people. Locals were disgruntled by the soaring refugee population, but a new study by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows just how much Venezuelan migrants have <a href="">contributed to the region&#8217;s economy</a>. Tax collection on goods and services jumped 25 percent between late 2018 and mid-2019. The state’s economy has also become more diversified and grew 2.3 percent in 2017—above the national average. While Brazil has increased resources to host the refugees—<a href="">roughly 250,000 Venezuelans</a> have settled in the country in seven years—the study points out that, in 2018, the extra BRL 100 million spent by the Brazilian authorities were matched by Venezuelans&#8217; contribution to the local economy.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>280 years in prison</h2> <p>Former Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral got his 13th corruption conviction. With an additional 14 years and seven months, his sentences reach a combined 282 years. Over the past decade, 26 state governors have been accused of embezzlement, with seven of them having already been convicted. Last year, Mr. Cabral said: “My error was my attachment to money, power, all of that … it’s an addiction.”</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>24,300 people</h2> <p>São Paulo&#8217;s city council published its first census of the city&#8217;s homeless population. Homelessness jumped 60 percent since 2015, reaching 24,300 people. The bump was fueled by Brazil’s 2015-2016 recession—the worst ever recorded. During that span, unemployment in the city reached 16.6 percent. The São Paulo street population is mostly black or mixed-race (46 percent) and between 31 and 49 years old (46 percent).</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 450.7 billion</h2> <p>This was the overall amount of funds raised in Brazilian capital markets in 2019, a 62 percent increase from 2018 levels, according to Brazil’s Securities Commission (CVM). The boost came from the debt markets—debentures alone accounted for BRL 185.8 billion—amid the lowest-ever benchmark interest rates in the country. Other records were established, such as the BRL 35 trillion in securities under the CVM’s jurisdiction, an 85 percent increase from 2018. Also, the number of entities and people subject to the agency grew 6.8 percent to 54,458. The steepest increase (40 percent) was registered among autonomous investment agents, reaching&nbsp; 10,798 professionals. In our <a href="">January 21 story</a>, we dug deeper into the changes the CVM intends to make on the regulation of these professionals, which may severely impact XP, Inc.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>EUR 17.45 million</h2> <p>Rio de Janeiro football club Flamengo confirmed the signing of striker Gabriel Barbosa, commonly known as Gabigol, after spending a year at the club on loan from Italian side Internazionale. The defending Brazilian and South American champions bought 90 percent of the 23-year-old&#8217;s economic rights for EUR 17.45 million, signing him until December 2024. Gabigol scored Flamengo&#8217;s two goals in the Copa Libertadores final at the end of last year and was Brazilian football’s undisputed top striker in 2019 with 43 goals. For more on what this means for Gabigol and Flamengo, sign up for our free weekly <a href="">Brazil Sports newsletter</a>.

Natália Scalzaretto

Natália Scalzaretto has worked for companies such as Santander Brasil and Reuters, where she covered news ranging from commodities to technology. Most recently, she worked as an Editor for Trading News, the information division from the TradersClub investor community.

Our content is protected by copyright. Want to republish The Brazilian Report? Email us at