February 25th, 2022


1. How the war in Ukraine could affect the Brazilian economy

This week, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Brazilian media analyzed possible economic impacts for Brazil. According to experts, the surge in oil prices (which reached over US$ 100 per barrel for the first time since 2014) and the collapse of the stock market all over the world will affect currency exchanges in Brazil and increase inflation. The inflation rate was already on the rise, with IPCA-15 at 10.76% for the last 12 months – the highest rate for the month of February since 2016.

Folha de S. Paulo: Entenda como a guerra na Ucrânia afeta a economia brasileira
Valor Economico: Invasão da Rússia na Ucrânia embaralha ação dos BCs no Brasil e no mundo
O Globo: Bolsa brasileira tem queda e dólar dispara, com ataque russo à Ucrânia

2. Average unemployment rate drops to 13.2% in 2021 and Brazil ended the year with 12 million people unemployed

This week, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) published its “Continuous National Household Sample Survey (PNAD Contínua), revealing that there was a decline in the unemployment rate. In 2021, the Brazilian unemployment rate fell to 13.2%, from 13.8% in 2020. In the last quarter of 2021, 11.1% of people were jobless, a rate similar to what was seen in the last quarter of 2019 (before the pandemic). This represents over 12 million Brazilians. The survey notes that the average income for those employed plummeted to R$ 2,447 per month (-10.7% from the previous year), the lowest amount registered since 2012.

G1 Economia: Desemprego cai para 11,1% em dezembro, mas renda do trabalho atinge mínima histórica
Valor Econômico: Taxa média de desemprego cai para 13,2% em 2021
CNN Brasil: Desemprego no Brasil cai a 11,1% no 4º trimestre e termina 2021 a 13,2%, diz IBGE

3. Bill to regulate cryptocurrency transactions gains support in Congress

This week, the Senate’s Economic Affairs Committee (CAE) unanimously approved a bill to regulate cryptocurrency transactions in Brazil. The bill is the “regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies” and it defines guidelines for digital financial services providers. It also creates mechanisms to curb illegal activities such as money laundering and debt avoidance. It also lists punishments in case of fraud. The federal government will have to name a sector to regulate the market. If senators do not present arguments against the guidelines, the bill will go to a vote in the Chamber of Deputies.

Folha de S.Paulo: Entenda o projeto que regulamenta operações com criptomoedas
Estadão: Comissão do Senado aprova regras para mercado de criptomoedas
Agência Senado: CAE aprova regulamentação de criptomoedas

4. New opportunity to withdraw Severance Indemnity Fund would benefit 40 million Brazilians and inject R$ 20 billion in the economy

The Bolsonaro administration plans to authorize the withdrawal of funds from the Severance Indemnity Fund (FGTS, a savings scheme for employees) in the next few weeks. The measure would benefit over 40 million Brazilians, who will be authorized to withdraw up to R$ 1,000 from the fund. According to the administration, this means over R$ 20 billion will be injected into the local economy. If confirmed, this will be the third time the Bolsonaro administration has authorized withdrawals from FGTS.  

Estadão: Governo quer liberar novos saques de até R$ 1 mil do FGTS após o carnaval
O Globo: Governo quer liberar saque de até mil reais por trabalhador
Valor Econômico: Análise: Sem espaço no orçamento, governo quer recorrer ao FGTS novamente para estimular economia

5. Rapporteur in the Federal Supreme Court votes against the R$ 4.9 billion electoral fund

This week, Federal Supreme Court Justice André Mendonça voted against the R$ 4.9 billion electoral fund for 2022. According to Mendonca, the amount for the fund should revert to the 2020 level of R$ 2 billion, albeit with correction for inflation. The decision comes after Partido Novo went to the Federal Supreme Court to question the amount, claiming that Congress should not have approved it as the electoral fund is the responsibility of the federal administration. Mendonça said that Congress did not respect the Brazilian Constitution by approving an unjustified increase to the fund.

CNN: Relator vota por novo cálculo do fundo eleitoral e STF suspende julgamento  
G1: Relator André Mendonça vota no Supremo a favor de suspender aumento do fundo eleitoral
Agência Brasil: STF: relator vota para suspender aumento bilionário do fundo eleitoral