April 12, 2019


1. Bolsonaro administration rated as “bad” by 30% of Brazilians, but 59% remain optimistic

A new Datafolha poll revealed that 30% of Brazilians view Jair Bolsonaro’s administration as “bad or horrible,” a proportion similar to those who consider his administration either “excellent or very good” and “average.” However, 59% of Brazilians are optimistic about the future of his administration, even though this figure is lower than the 65% when Bolsonaro was first elected. At the same point of their respective tenures, past presidents performed better in terms of disapproval ratings: Fernando Collor, 19% in 1990; Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 16% in 1995; Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 10% in 2003 and Dilma Rousseff, 7% in 2011. Bolsonaro criticized the poll and said his administration “is not as bad as the press says it is.”

Folha de S.Paulo: Bolsonaro tem pior avaliação de presidente desde 1985
O Globo: Governo ‘não teve tanta notícia ruim’, diz presidente

2. President signs 18 decrees, declares he has met goals for first 100 days

On Thursday, President Jair Bolsonaro signed 18 decrees and presented results that, according to him, prove that the 35 goals promised for the first 100 days of his administration have been met. The decrees and bills that were passed relate to promises made by the president, such as an autonomy plan for the Brazilian Central Bank, an anti-corruption committee, the repeal of 250 previous decrees and more. The press, however, shows that less than half of all plans have been effectively executed. In the stock market, the Bovespa index rose 8.56% in the first quarter of 2019. Since 1995, no other administration has enjoyed such a favorable economy in its first 100 days.

O Globo: Bolsonaro assina decretos e anuncia cumprimento de metas
O Estado de S. Paulo: Veja os decretos assinados pelo presidente
Valor Econômico: Cem dias de governo e o cenário econômico
Folha de S.Paulo: Governo cumpre somente um terço das promessas

3. Business owners called upon to advocate for pension reform

Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas and São Paulo Governor João Doria joined the offensive to convince business owners and investors to advocate for the approval of Brazil’s pension system reform. According to de Freitas, the new pension system rules will take some pressure off public spending and may help boost Brazil’s GDP growth (Gross Domestic Product) by 1.5% to 2% leading to greater foreign investment. Doria said that should the pension reform not pass, “chaos” will ensue in Brazil. On the contrary, if Congress approves the changes, Doria says “the floodgates will immediately be opened to investors.”

Valor Econômico: Reforma pode aumentar investimento estrangeiro, diz ministro
Valor Econômico: Empresários têm de ajudar, senão o país terá “caos”, diz Doria

4. Maia and Guedes no longer fighting for pension reform

Brazilian lower house Speaker Rodrigo Maia stated on Monday he will no longer fight to pass the pension system reform in Congress, which changes retirement rules in Brazil, declaring he will not play “the part of a battered wife who thinks deep down her husband loves her.” Maia said he has resigned himself to play only the role required of him as house speaker and that he will be ready to put the bill to a vote when the time is right, adding that he will no longer discuss deadlines, or the votes required to pass the bill. Finance Minister Paulo Guedes, who last week said he would take an active role in getting the bill passed, retreated this week. Guedes specified that he is not cut out for this, mentioning a heated discussion with members of congress, followed by his abrupt departure from a session where he was advocating for pension reform.

Veja: Maia e Guedes desistem de articular aprovação da nova Previdência
Folha de S.Paulo: Articuladores da reforma da Previdência começam a recuar

5. IMF slashes Brazil’s annual growth projection

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed its projected growth for the Brazilian economy in 2019, to 2.1% from 2.5%. On the other hand, they increased their estimate for 2020 to 2.5% from 2.2%. In the same report, the IMF says Brazil’s priority should be containing public debt growth without cutting on essential social programs. The report also highlights that Brazil’s and Mexico’s medium-term expansion rate should hover between 2.25% and 2.75%. In 2017 and 2018, Brazil’s economy grew 1.1%. The report reasserts that preemptive adjustments are necessary to limit growing expenditures, such as the public sector’s payroll and pension reform. Simultaneously, it also says that social programs aimed at vulnerable communities should be protected but did not single out any specific projects.

Valor Econômico: FMI reduz projeção de crescimento do Brasil para 2019
O Estado de S. Paulo: Projeção de crescimento do Brasil cai para 2,1%