October 16, 2020
1. IMF: Brazil will have the second largest gross debt among emerging countries
Brazil will end the year with the second highest gross debt among emerging countries. A report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published on Wednesday reveals that the debt will equal 101.4% of the GDP, a rate only exceeded by Angola. According to the projections in the study, there will be no substantial improvement until 2025. The relationship between the gross debt and the GDP in Brazil in 2019 was 89.5%.
According to the IMF, the Brazilian nominal deficit – which includes expenditures with interest rates – could increase from 5% of the GDP in 2019 to 16.8% this year. The primary deficit could increase from 1% of the GDP to 12%. According to the report, the work of state governments to protect lives and help highly vulnerable companies during the pandemic has lowered the impact of the virus on the economy. However, the “consequences of the crisis for public finances, combined with the loss of revenue due to production contraction, were huge.”
Folha de S.Paulo: Dívida bruta do Brasil vai a 101,4% do PIB
2. Study shows that only four out of 14 economic sectors have recovered their losses
A study by Itaú Unibanco reveals that only four out of 14 economic sectors have been able to recover the losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the study, the food, agribusiness, civil construction and technology sectors are currently registering a demand that is higher than what was observed in the first three months of the year, before there were restrictions on activities or circulation of people. The aviation, tourism and automotive sectors were highlighted as the sectors that have not shown signs of recovery.
This week, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) has shared information showing an improvement in the performance of the services sector. In August – for the third consecutive month – the sector registered a 2.9% increase. From June to August the sector increased 11.2%. Despite the increase, however, the sector is still far from recovering the accumulated losses since the beginning of the pandemic. From February to May this year, the sector registered a -19.8% loss.
O Estado de S. Paulo: Retomada do crescimento é desigual no país
O Globo: Setor de serviços cresce pelo terceiro mês seguido
3. Coronavirus deadlier in places with larger numbers of informal workers
Brazilian municipalities with the largest number of informal workers have registered the highest rates of death and coronavirus contamination. A study by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in partnership with the French Institute of Research for Development analyzed socioeconomic data from all of Brazil’s 5,570 cities and then compared this with the data on the disease from the same date: August 11th. In places with more informal workers, the contamination rate increased 29% and death rates increased by an average of 38%.
The study, which is yet to be published in a scientific journal, offers an argument for the perception that informal work poses risks during a pandemic. Florianópolis, the state capital of Santa Catarina with 500,000 inhabitants, saw 23% of its workers performing informal activities on August 11th and registered 938 people with coronavirus and 15 deaths per 100,000 people. In Roraima, Boa Vista, out of the 399,200 inhabitants and 41% of workers with informal jobs, 6,847 people had the coronavirus and there were 108 deaths per 100,000 people.
Folha de S.Paulo: Trabalho informal eleva casos e mortes pelo coronavírus
IRRD Covid-19: Veja o mapeamento de casos no Brasil e no mundo
4. Brazil registers lowest average in daily deaths and contagion over the last 5 months
The average COVID-19 contagion and death rates in Brazil are slowing and, this week, reached their lowest levels since May, according to data provided by states. Specialists ask for caution, as the data was registered in a week with a holiday, when there are fewer tests performed. The moving average of the past seven days was 497 deaths, representing a 26% drop in comparison to the previous 14 days, the lowest average since May. The moving average of daily new cases was 20,208, a 25% decrease in comparison to the two previous weeks and the lowest level since May.
In Brazil, over 152,000 people have died and 5.1 million have contracted the disease. Projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, however, indicate that Brazil could have a total of 180,000 coronavirus deaths by January 1st, 2021. The institute is one of the most important research centers for global diseases and also studies 163 other countries. According to researchers, if the use of masks was universal, the number of deaths due to the coronavirus internationally could be 25% lower than the estimate.
5. Federal Supreme Court faces criticism after releasing drug trafficker convicted to over 25 years in prison
Justice Marco Aurélio Mello’s decision to release one of Brazil’s most notorious drug traffickers – who is also the head of a criminal organization – from prison was criticized in the Federal Supreme Court. Mello based his decision on the new text of Article 316 of the Penal Code, which was approved by Congress and sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro. The new text was part of the Anti-Crime Package and determines that requests for preventive arrests must be renewed every 90 days. The decision made last Friday was revoked on the following day by the court’s president, Luiz Fux. The criminal who was convicted to 25 years in prison, however, is now on the run.
The São Paulo Governor João Doria criticized the court’s decision, saying it was “disrespectful towards the work of the police” and “unacceptably lenient of criminals.” In a tense vote, the Federal Supreme Court ruled on the arrest of now-fugitive André do Rap. Justices have said that even with the article change to benefit prisoners, it is up to the Justice Department to rule on a case by case basis. Besides this consensus, the court is discussing creating a mechanism so that injunctions ruled by justices are immediately put up for a vote in a virtual trial by peers, either by the Supreme Court or the plenary.