Numbers of the week: Oct. 31, 2020

. Oct 31, 2020
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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. A selection of numbers that help explain what is going on in Brazil. This week: Brazilians less prone to taking a coronavirus vaccine; Chile votes for a new constitution; public debt hits record highs; emergency aid for companies; and benchmark interest rates remain stable.

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Support for coronavirus vaccine drops 22 points

Since President Jair Bolsonaro began to criticize mandatory vaccination, Brazilians eagerness for inoculation

dropped from 85 percent in July to 63 percent on October 28. At the same time, the rate of those who intend to refuse vaccination outright has increased from 8 percent to 22 percent in just four months. Furthermore, those who rank the Bolsonaro government as &#8220;good&#8221; or &#8220;great&#8221; are more likely to reject a vaccine. Women, young adults, residents of rural states, and people with no steady income are also the most skeptical about immunization. </p> <iframe src="" width="100%" height="232" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>78 percent of Chileans vote for a new constitution&nbsp;</h2> <p>On October 25, Chile went to the polls to put an end to the country’s 1980 constitution, one of the last remaining legacies of the Pinochet dictatorship. And this was no tight victory: 78 percent voted to tear up the existing charter and draft a brand-new Chilean constitution — against 21 percent who voted to keep it. Over half of registered voters cast their ballots on Sunday in what was the biggest turnout since voting was made optional in 2012. Now <a href="">Chile’s mission</a> is to elect 155 members for a constituent assembly, which will decide on the provisions of the new charter next year.&nbsp;</p> <iframe src="" width="100%" height="232" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Public debt reaches 90 percent of GDP</h2> <p>In September, Brazil&#8217;s public debt reached 90 percent of the country&#8217;s <a href="">GDP</a>, equivalent to BRL 6.5 trillion, the highest level on record according to data released by the Central Bank. With spending to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil, the Economy Ministry estimates that the public debt will grow to approximately 94 percent of GDP by the end of the year.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Selic benchmark interest rate remains at 2 percent</h2> <p>The Central Bank&#8217;s Monetary Policy Committee <a href="">decided</a> to keep Brazil&#8217;s <a href="">Selic benchmark interest rate</a> at 2-percent-a-year, an all-time low, even with a recent rise in inflation. The IPCA-15 inflation index jumped 0.94 percent in October, the biggest one-month increase since 1995. However, the decision to keep interest rates stationary was in line with market expectations.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Industry prices rise 2.37 percent</h2> <p>Prices for industry rose 2.37 percent in September, below August&#8217;s increase of 3.31 percent. The largest variation came in the <a href="">food sector</a>, where prices rose 5.28 percent. The findings come from IBGE&#8217;s Producer Price Index, which measures changes in the prices of products before tax and shipping. Since the beginning of the year, prices have risen 13.46 percent. Only three of 24 surveyed sectors experienced deflation in September, the largest being oil refining with a drop of 2.88 percent.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 105 billion in emergency aid to companies</h2> <p>Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Brazil’s National Development Bank (BNDES) has issued BRL 105 billion to companies as <a href="">emergency aid</a>. According to BNDES president Gustavo Montezano, the money went to 258,000 Brazilian companies, 98 percent of which were micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Also, the BNDES settled its BRL 20 billion debt with the Guarantee Fund for Length of Service (FGTS), a pecuniary fund from which individuals can withdraw amounts upon being made unemployed. In all, emergency measures from the development bank total BRL 125 billion during the pandemic.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>7 months later, Argentina reopens borders</h2> <p>After remaining closed since March, Argentina decided to open <a href="">its borders</a> to Brazil and residents of its other four neighbors Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Chile. Foreign visitors will only be allowed to enter the country via Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport — with the exception of those traveling from Uruguay, who will also be able to cross into Argentina by boat.

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Ariádne Mussato

Ariadne Mussato is a social media expert

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