September 25, 2020


1. Bolsonaro blames indigenous people and the weather for deforestation in his UN speech

President Jair Bolsonaro defended his environmental policy and said that the “indigenous and their descendants” are the ones responsible for deforestation in the country. During his speech at the virtual UN General Assembly, Bolsonaro claimed that climate change and a “brutal disinformation campaign” are being used by his opposition to attack the administration. The president also said that Brazilian agribusiness is “still going strong” and that the Amazon rainforest is attractive to foreigners. However, Bolsonaro added that Brazil has “zero tolerance” for environmental crimes.
According to the Brazilian press, executives and business owners did not take Bolsonaro’s speech well. Critics stated that the president missed another opportunity to improve the country’s image abroad, especially since the international community has largely seen the administration in a negative light due to environmental issues. According to the latest study by the National Institute for Space Research, as of September 21st the number of fires had increased by 13%: there have registered 6,700 forest fires in 2020, while there had been 5,000 in the same period of 2019. The Pantanal is currently facing the largest fire in its history. 

Folha de S.Paulo: Bolsonaro culpa clima e índios pelo desmatamento
Folha de S.Paulo: Leia a íntegra do discurso presidencial na ONU
O Estado de S. Paulo: Mourão critica “superdimensionamento” de queimadas
Folha de S.Paulo: Para empresários, presidente perdeu mais uma chance

2. Federal government approval rate climbs from 29% to 40% in nine months

A poll reveals that the federal government’s approval rating climbed from 29% in December 2018 to 40% this month. The percentage represents the number of people who think that the Bolsonaro administration is good or great. According to IBOPE – the institute that conducted the poll at the request of the National Industry Confederation – this is the most positive result since the beginning of the president’s administration. The percentage of people who rate the current government as bad or awful dropped from 38% to 29%. 2,000 people were interviewed from September 17th through the 20th.
In the same poll, Bolsonaro’s personal assessment has also significantly improved; returning to the highest favorability rating he has ever received. According to 50% of the Brazilians polled, the president’s governing style is good or great. In a December poll, 41% of people thought the same and in April 2019 51% of people held this opinion. 29% rated his governing style as average. The poll also asked people about Bolsonaro’s actions regarding the environment, with 37% to 40% approving of it, with a 2% margin of error. When asked about the future, 36% of those polled believe the administration will be good or great and 30% believe it will be bad or awful.

O Globo: Aprovação ao governo aumenta, segundo Ibope

3. Electronic retail in São Paulo grows six years in only six months

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, electronic retail experienced the equivalent of six years of growth in just six months. According to a study by São Paulo’s Chamber of Commerce, from January to June 2020, online sales grew from 2.9% to 3.7% of total retail sales. In the city of São Paulo, the growth was even more significant, going from 3.6% of the total volume of sales to 5%. This rate of growth was larger than the one recorded from 2013 to 2019.
The Chamber’s projections reveal that electronic commerce in the city of São Paulo could represent up to 6% or 7% of all retail sales by the end of the year. In the entire state, electronic sales could represent 5% of the total. By comparison, in New York, electronic sales represent an average of 10% of all sales. Although retail performance is good, experts believe that sales of high value products will go back to normal levels. The peak of consumption for durable goods was at the beginning of the pandemic, when people were socially distancing. Since then, unemployment rates have increased and people are afraid of a drop in their income.

O Estado de S. Paulo: Vendas online crescem 6 anos em 6 meses

4. Unemployment rate during the pandemic increased by 27.6% from May to August

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Brazil’s unemployment rate reached 13.6% of the total economically active population. This means that 12.9 million people were unemployed by the end of August, 2.9 million more than the same figure registered in May. This represents a 27.6% increase. According to the study conducted by IBGE, the largest unemployment rate was in the Northeast (15.7%), followed by the North (14.2%), Southeast (14%), Center-West (12.2%) and South (10%).
According to the study – which was developed exclusively to measure the impact of the pandemic on the job market – unemployment affected more women (16.2%) than men (11.7%). The poll is not the official rate for the country, which currently stands at 13.3%, but results from visits to households to verify the incidence of coronavirus. Data reveals that 4.1 million people were away from their workplace due to social isolation measures and restrictions.

G1: Desemprego tem alta diante da pandemia

5. Harvard study shows that COVID inflation affects Brazilians the most

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the costs of living of Brazilians the most, according to research conducted by economist Alberto Cavallo at Harvard University. The study compares the increase in prices during the pandemic with the official inflation rates in 18 developing and developed countries. According to the study, Brazil registered the largest difference between the so-called “COVID inflation” and the official rate in May: 0.88%. The country is ahead of Uruguay, the United States, South Korea and Chile. “People are consuming more food (inflated) and less transport (deflated),” said Cavallo.
The impact of coronavirus on the country is still severe. Nearly 140,000 people have died and 4.7 million have been diagnosed with the virus. The number of people infected is larger, as virologists have warned since the beginning of the pandemic about underreporting: asymptomatic patients or patients with light symptoms who will not reach out to medical services. The descending curve is not confirmed. In eight states there was an increase in the number of daily deaths, nine states registered a drop and nine are stable. 

Folha de S.Paulo: Inflação da Covid atinge mais os brasileiros
O Globo: Acompanhe notícias sobre a pandemia
IRRD Covid-19: Veja o mapeamento de casos no Brasil e no mundo