June 19, 2020


1. Bolsonaro criticizes the judiciary, sees friend arrested and fires Minister 

It was a week of major blows to President Jair Bolsonaro, who believes that the judicial branch is moving to remove him from power. The Federal Supreme Court has made some tough decisions, such as ordering the arrest of leaders of anti-democracy demonstrations. On Saturday, the court ordered the arrest of people who shot fireworks aimed at the judiciary building and also ordered the end of bank secrecy for one senator and 10 representatives who are allies of the president. The measures come against those under the suspicion of having promoted anti-democracy protests supported by Bolsonaro. However, a series of events made things even more tense in the last few days. Fabrício Queiroz – a friend of the president and former aid to his son Sentor Flávio Bolsonaro – was arrested on Thursday morning. He is accused of being part of a corruption scheme that took place during Flávio Bolsonaro’s time as a state representative. The president’s difficult week took a turn for the worse when he was forced to fire Minister of Education Abraham Weintraub. The minister called members of the Supreme Court “vagabundos” – a term which means incompetent and ill-intentioned. “It is a difficult moment… A moment of trust,” said the president in a recorded video.

Folha de S.Paulo: STF manda quebrar sigilo de 11 congressistas
O Estado de S. Paulo: Amigo do presidente é preso sob suspeita de corrupção
Folha de S.Paulo: Presidente se diz vítima de cerco do Judiciário
O Globo: Ministro que ofendeu STF deixa o governo
O Globo: Presidente diz que momento é difícil e de confiança

2. Brazil is once again on the list of most attractive countries for investors

Brazil is once again ranked among the 25 most attractive countries for direct foreign investment. This year’s edition of the FDI Global Index developed by consulting company Kearney, reveals that the country increased its score to 1.65 from 1.37 in 2018 (on a scale that goes from 0 to 3 points). Brazil is 22nd in the global rankings and the only Latin American country on the list. The United States topped the list for the eighth consecutive year. Every year, the consulting company interviews 500 executives of multinational companies. This year, the study took place between January 27th and March 3rd, when the pandemic was already spreading worldwide. According to the poll, 35% of people interviewed said that they are more optimistic about the Brazilian market in the next three years, 13% said they were more pessimistic and 52% said their perception remains the same. The poll reveals that the tax system and the simplicity of paying taxes are the primary factors that drive companies to invest. 

Valor Econômico: País volta à lista dos mais atrativos para investimento

3. Commercial activity drops 16.8%, marking 20 year record

The performance of commercial activity in April dropped to its lowest level since January 2000, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. According to the poll, the sector dropped 16.8% in April, when social isolation measures caused the most impact. Even in sectors that remained active during the isolation period – such as supermarkets, foods, pharmaceuticals and cigarettes and beverages – saw a drop. According to the poll, the drop affected the entire country. All 26 states and the Federal District have registered drops in comparison to the month of March and to the same period of 2019. Research Manager Cristiano Santos says there was a drop in income of 3.3% in March – representing R$ 7.3 billion (USD $1.38 billion) – which might have contributed. Another reason could be that consumers stocked up on products so they wouldn’t have to leave their homes.

Folha de S.Paulo: Comércio despenca 16,8% em abril

4. COVID-19 pandemic leads to the loss of one million jobs in May

Nearly one million Brazilians have lost their jobs in May, according to a study by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics analyzing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the job market. The research shows that 10.9 million people were unemployed in the last week of May. The Institute also reveals that there are 17.7 million Brazilians who were already unemployed and were no longer looking for a job due to the pandemic. Therefore, there are now 28.6 million people who are struggling to find employment in May due to the lack of jobs available or because they are afraid of catching the virus. According to the study, 8.8 million people were working from home, representing 13.2% of the Brazilian workforce.  

O Globo: Pandemia tira emprego de 1 milhão de pessoas

5. Government says the curve is flattening, but WHO recommends caution

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health reported that even though more than 48,000 people have died of coronavirus and one million cases have been confirmed – the curve of the pandemic in Brazil is flattening. “We need to continue this trend over the next 15 days, but we see that we are maybe entering a plateau for new cases,” said National Health Surveillance Secretary Arnaldo Correia de Medeiros. In the past two weeks, there has been an increase in the average number of daily new cases (24,915 to 25,381). However, the increase was lower than what had been seen previously. This week, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme – Michael Ryan – said the situation in Brazil is still serious, but is showing signs of stabilization. “The increase is not as exponential as before. But I would say it is a moment of  extreme caution for Brazil,” he said.

Folha de S.Paulo: Ministério aponta tendência de estabilização da doença
O Globo: Há sinais de estabilização, mas é preciso cautela, diz OMS
Folha de S.Paulo: Brasil supera 1 milhão de casos de coronavírus
G1: Acompanhe notícias sobre a pandemia
IRRD Covid-19: Veja o mapeamento de casos no Brasil e no mundo