The effect of Brazil's economy on the global economy
Initialised by Maarten Post (EMBA05).
Possessing large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and is expanding its presence in world markets. From 2001-03 real wages fell and Brazil's economy grew, on average, only 1.1% per year, as the country absorbed a series of domestic and international economic shocks. That Brazil absorbed these shocks without financial collapse is a tribute to the resiliency of the Brazilian economy and the economic program put in place by former President CARDOSO and strengthened by President Lula DA SILVA.
The three pillars of the economic program are a floating exchange rate, an inflation-targeting regime, and tight fiscal policy, which have been reinforced by a series of IMF programs. The currency depreciated sharply in 2001 and 2002, which contributed to a dramatic current account adjustment: in 2003, Brazil ran a record trade surplus and recorded the first current account surplus since 1992.
While economic management has been good, there remain important economic vulnerabilities. The most significant are debt-related: the government's largely domestic debt increased steadily from 1994 to 2003, straining government finances, while Brazil's foreign debt (a mix of private and public debt) is large in relation to Brazil's modest (but growing) export base. Another challenge is maintaining economic growth over a period of time to generate employment and make the government debt burden more manageable.