April 10, 2020
1. Public sector deficit could reach R$ 500 billion in 2020
This year, the consolidated public sector primary deficit could reach R$ 500 billion (USD $98.2 billion) – a much higher amount than 2019’s R$ 61.9 billion (USD $12.2 billion) deficit – stated National Treasury Secretary Mansueto Almeida. During a webinar, the secretary said that the federal government will spend as much as necessary in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy. “The fiscal deterioration will be intense, but it is necessary this year and we will have to face it like adults,” he said. According to Mansueto, ensuring that cities and states will have resources, protecting the incomes of vulnerable people and helping companies retain employees are the government’s priorities. “The expenditure is temporary. It is not permanent. A mistake we cannot commit is using a period of crisis to increase spending in sectors that will affect the Federal Budget from 2021 onwards.” The emergency benefit given to people of low income saw 22 million people registering in just 24 hours.
Valor Econômico: Déficit primário se aproxima de R$ 500 bilhões
2. Most of Brazil’s highest earners expect income decline
A poll revealed that the richest Brazilians, those with a monthly income of R$ 10,450 (USD $2,051) or more, believe their incomes will decrease. A poll conducted from March 18th to March 20th revealed that 49% of people believed their income would drop. Now, the results of a poll conducted by Datafolha between April 1st and April 3rd show that 67% of people interviewed are expecting a decrease. Among people with an income of up to two times the minimum wage (R$ 2,090), 73% believe their income will decrease. In the previous poll, 61% of people thought there would be a drop. According to the new poll, 69% of people in all income brackets believe their monthly revenue will decrease due to the pandemic. In the previous poll, 57% of people had the same perception. Only 4 out of every 10 people said that they would be able to support themselves for a maximum of one month if they completely lost their source of income. The International Labor Organization believes that 45% of Latin American and Caribbean workers – especially those in Brazil – work in sectors with a high risk of layoffs and reductions in work hours. In Asia and in the Pacific region, this percentage is 26%. According to the organization, the hospitality, commerce, administration and manufacturing sectors are the most at risk.
Folha de S.Paulo: Maioria prevê que vai perder renda, diz pesquisa
Valor Econômico: Risco de demissão ronda 45% dos trabalhadores, diz OIT
3. Companies increase donations and make a pact to retain employees
Companies and executives are increasingly helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, both in the health sector and the economy. Over 1,600 companies have joined the #nãodemita (do not fire people) movement. The 40 largest companies in the group alone correspond to over 1 million employees. The coalition of companies aims to retain employees for at least two months, as well as trying to give back to the communities that support their businesses. In the last few days, companies and organizations from the petrochemical, plastic and alcohol sectors have announced that they will be importing ventilators, manufacturing over 60 million surgical masks and increasing production of hand sanitizer and liquid alcohol. A digital platform created by the companies’ CEOs called “Compre do Bairro” (or Buy from the Neighborhood) has been launched to support small retail business owners all over the country.
Valor Econômico: Empresas assumem compromisso de não demitir
Valor Econômico: Empresas vão doar mais de 60 milhões de máscaras
Valor Econômico: CEOs criam rede de apoio ao pequeno varejista
4. Bolsonaro reiterates his defense of chloroquine in latest public speech
In a new address to the nation – broadcast on radio and TV – President Jair Bolsonaro once again suggested the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat patients in the early stages of COVID-19 infection. This is the fifth time the president has addressed Brazil since the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic. His suggestion goes against the Ministry of Health’s recommendations, which suggests prescribing the medication only for serious cases. During his speech, Bolsonaro criticized social isolation measures taken by state governments, saying that it will negatively affect the economy. According to the president, “unemployment leads to starvation, poverty and to death itself.” The president also listed the measures taken by the federal government to fight the pandemic, which includes an emergency benefit, the exemption in payment of electric bills for low income families and the repatriation of Brazilians who were abroad.
Valor Econômico: Em defesa de mais circulação, Bolsonaro volta a criticar restrições
Folha de S.Paulo: Leia mais sobre a pandemia e crise econômica
Ministério da Saúde: Acompanhe as informações do governo sobre a doença
5. Brazilians are in favor of social isolation, but 28% are still leaving their houses
The majority of Brazilians are in favor of social isolation to contain the spread of the coronavirus. However, nearly a third of Brazilians admit to leaving their homes. The difference between wanting to stay at home and actually respecting the quarantine was revealed by two polls conducted by Datafolha from April 1st to April 3rd and published this week. According to the study, 76% of people interviewed are in favor of the quarantine and 18% are against it. Two thirds of people interviewed believe non-essential shops should remain closed and 87% of people say children should not go back to school – a position President Jair Bolsonaro disagrees with. However, when 1,511 people interviewed were asked if they were following the social distancing recommendation, 24% of them said they were leaving their homes for work or other activities, while 4% of them said that they are still maintaining their daily routines. The poll did not disclose how many people out of these 28% are key workers. Virologists and health authorities recommend social isolation to limit the spread of the disease. In the state of São Paulo, the quarantine will last until at least April 22nd.
Folha de S.Paulo: Maioria defende isolamento social contra coronavírus
Folha de S.Paulo: Quase um terço da população não segue restrições