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Posts Tagged ‘resilient’

Unlike in the rest of the world, sales in Brazil are going up, showing the economic resilience of South America’s largest economy. Sales in September raised 9.4 percent, particularly on IT and computers. Check below a report from The Miami Herald today.

Brazil’s retail sales rose more than economists forecast in September, a sign that consumer demand in Latin America’s biggest economy remained resilient as the global credit crisis began to deepen. Retail sales jumped 9.4 percent in September from a year ago, pushed by a 51 percent surge in computer sales, the national statistics agency said Tuesday.

The increase beat 20 of 28 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists, whose median forecast was 8.8 percent. Sales growth was less than the 9.9 percent increase in August. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, seeking to build on consumer demand growth, is using state banks to boost lending to carmakers, home builders and consumers and meet an economic growth target of 3.7 percent next year. Economists such as WestLB’s Roberto Padovani in Sao Paulo said the September sales report is a sign that consumer sentiment was holding steady.

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“There are good reasons (…) to believe that Brazil’s economy is resilient to the global financial crisis”. This was the conclusion of Mauricio Cárdenas, Senior Fellow and Director of the Latin America Initiative at Brookings Institution, in an articled published on RGE Monitor. Holding a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, the analyst has also expressed great optismism for the perspectives of the Brazilian re-industrialization strategy, much due to increasing investment in steel, petrochemicals and defense equipment.

Brazil’s foreign reserves are now $205 billion, four times higher than in 2004. Financial intermediation, though low for developed country standards, is conducted primarily by domestic institutions. Only 30 percent of bank assets are foreign-owned, compared to over 80 percent in Mexico. To the extent that Brazilian banks also have very low foreign liabilities, the economy is somewhat protected from a major credit contraction in international financial markets.

The article is concluded by the assurance that the Brazilian government has learned from mistakes committed in the past.

In fact, the government is launching a re-industrialization strategy, with high investment in steel, petrochemicals, and defense equipment (including construction of its first atomic submarine). Is this going to revive the white elephants of the 1960s and 70s? Probably not. This time around the development strategy in Brazil is carried out by the private sector, with limited support from the government, and much better governance structures than in the past. If these fundamentals can remain strong, Brazil may yet dodge the current global economic bullet.

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