Amid economic disaster, Brazilian unions promote Lula da Silva 2018 presidential bid

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Amid economic disaster, Brazilian unions promote Lula da Silva 2018 presidential bid

By
Miguel Andrade

18 March 2017

On Tuesday, March 7, the Brazilian Statistical and Geographical Institute (IBGE), the country’s official demographic and economical metrics organ, published its comprehensive annual economic report on fiscal year 2016, revealing the deepening extent of Brazil’s economic crisis.

The GDP fell 3.6 percent, compounding the 3.8 percent fall of 2015, bringing the country’s economy back to its 2010 level. The two-year fall is also the sharpest since the IBGE began keeping records in 1948, confirming the current crisis as the worst in a century.

It was also the first time since 1996 that industry, agriculture and services had simultaneous declines, with a combination of a fall in international demand and severe draughts in the north as well as frosts in the south bringing agricultural output down by 6.6 percent. The 3.8 percent drop in industrial output follows a 6.6 percent drop in 2015. Against this backdrop, Brazil’s investment rate stands at 16.4 percent of GDP, the worst figure since current metrics were adopted in 1995, with a fall of 28.6 percent since 2013.

Nonetheless, most revealing is the acceleration of the fall in household consumption, from a 3.9 percent drop in 2015 to a 4.2 fall in 2016, a sharp exposure of the long-term effects of the crushing unemployment level, which officially has reached a record of 13 million workers, or 12 percent of the workforce. The category of “broad unemployment,” according to a January Credit Suisse report which includes workers who have abandoned the search for a job due to persistent unemployment, includes 23 million workers.

The fall in consumption brought inflation to its lowest level since 2000, at the…

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