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Numbers of the week: Sep. 12, 2020

. Sep 12, 2020
inflation vaccine football jobs elections coronavirus deaths fake news UN charter coronavirus deaths Health Ministry data, economic reopening ... Brazil's numbers this week

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: food inflation; coronavirus transmission rates; GDP; corruption; aviation woes; São Paulo mayoral race.

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19.2-percent inflation

Brazil’s overall inflation rate sits at a mere

0.7 percent since the beginning of the year, on pace to finish 2020 far below the government’s 4-percent target. But Brazilians are beginning to feel the rise in food prices, which fuels the growing pessimism about the economy. Tomatoes are now 13 percent more expensive and milk prices have jumped by nearly 5 percent since the start of the pandemic. And rice prices are an astounding 19.2 percent higher than they were in January.</p> <p>Food prices weigh disproportionately on the poor and could spark disgruntlement among a significant proportion of the electorate.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>1.02 <em>R</em> number</h2> <p>New data from the Imperial College London suggests that the spread of the coronavirus hasn&#8217;t slowed down in Brazil. The country’s <em>R</em> number (representing the rate of the virus’s effective reproduction) has risen once again, landing exactly on 1.02. The rate has oscillated quite a bit recently. Last week, it sat at 0.94.</p> <p>The overall death and infection curves are slowing down in Brazil, but that&#8217;s mainly because pandemic has spread unevenly across Brazil. While major centers show some stabilization in cases and deaths, <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6508/1255?utm_source=Publicate&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=...&amp;utm_campaign=academico-111">regions in the interior of the country are seeing an uptake</a> in infections.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>-5.8-percent GDP growth</h2> <p>After encouraging economic data from Q2, Fitch Ratings changed its estimate for <a href="https://brazilian.report/business/2020/09/01/worst-gdp-ever-what-does-the-future-hold-for-brazil/">Brazil’s 2020 GDP growth rate</a> from a 7-percent plunge to a 5.8-percent drop in the year. The credit rating agency sees a steady reopening of the economy despite the virus’s continuous spread. Among the data that supported Fitch’s decision was the rebound in retail, which suggests that “fiscal transfers to support the vulnerable population and the reopening of the economy have helped to support domestic demand.”&nbsp;</p> <p>However, they warn about the risks posed by an intensification in the virus’ spreading which could lead to another lockdown. <a href="https://brazilian.report/coronavirus-brazil-live-blog/2020/09/09/fitch-ratings-revises-its-2020-brazil-gdp-estimate-upwards/">Read more</a>.</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/3634900" data-url="https://flo.uri.sh/visualisation/3634900/embed" aria-label=""><script src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/embed.js"></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 10.8 million from Odebrecht&nbsp;</h2> <p>Former Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes was charged this week with <a href="https://brazilian.report/newsletters/brazil-daily/2020/08/28/rio-governor-suspended-in-coronavirus-corruption-probe/">corruption</a> and money laundering. Prosecutors accuse him of pocketing BRL 10.8 million from construction group Odebrecht during his 2012 re-election campaign. Mr. Paes plans to run for City Hall again in November, and has dismissed the probe as an attempt to interfere with the upcoming municipal elections.</p> <iframe src="https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/2VHDbzqNlt326AY0nz9tgD" width="100%" height="232" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>USD 2.45-billion loan</h2> <p>A U.S. bankruptcy judge <a href="https://news.bloomberglaw.com/bankruptcy-law/latam-airlines-judge-denies-2-45-billion-bankruptcy-loan">denied</a> a USD 2.45-billion bankruptcy loan to Chilean-Brazilian carrier Latam Airlines, Latin America’s biggest airline. The proposal consisted of a USD 1.3-billion loan from asset management firm Oaktree Capital and a USD 900-million convertible loan from key shareholders. The court found the convertible loan would amount to “improper” treatment of other shareholders. The denial is a major setback to Latam, which is carrying USD 18-billion debt and desperately needs short-term liquidity.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Polling at 16 percent</h2> <p>The São Paulo mayoral race still has no clear-cut favorite, according to consultancy Atlas Político. The first major poll of this electoral cycle shows incumbent Mayor Bruno Covas polling at 16 percent —&nbsp;with left candidate Guilherme Boulos and Congressman Celso Russomano tied in second place, with 12 percent each. Meanwhile, 13 percent of voters in Brazil&#8217;s largest city still don&#8217;t know who they will vote for in November.&nbsp;</p> <p>Only 16.6 percent of voters approve of the Bruno Covas administration — he took office last year, after then-Mayor João Doria resigned to run for governor. Meanwhile, 45 percent of São Paulo residents rate the administration as &#8220;bad&#8221; or &#8220;terrible.&#8221;</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/3715645" data-url="https://flo.uri.sh/visualisation/3715645/embed" aria-label=""><script src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/embed.js"></script></div> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/3715617" data-url="https://flo.uri.sh/visualisation/3715617/embed" aria-label=""><script src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/embed.js"></script></div> <p>

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Lucas Berti

Lucas Berti covers international affairs — specialized in Latin American politics and markets. He has been published by Opera Mundi, Revista VIP, and The Intercept Brasil, among others.

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