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The Economist | Brazil’s disappointing economy: Stuck in the mud

The Economist

Brazil’s disappointing economy
Stuck in the mud
Feeble growth has forced a change of course. But the government’s room for manoeuvre is more limited than it was

BRASÍLIA

FAILING to meet low expectations is becoming a habit for Brazil’s economy. Figures published on May 29th showed that in the first quarter of this year it grew by just 0.6% (2.4% annualised), well short of the recovery analysts had expected. For the first time in years the country is running a trade deficit. Its primary fiscal surplus (ie, before interest payments) is shrinking and government debt is growing. Other emerging economies are also cutting growth forecasts, as China slows and the euro zone slumps. But Brazil’s woes started earlier than most and seem to be home-grown. Inflation close to 6.5% despite low growth suggests domestic rigidities are the main problem, rather than weak foreign demand.

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