September 11, 2020


1. Prices of food items increase by up to 11.39%, boosting the inflation rate

The price of food items increased 11.39% over the past 12 months, a much higher percentage than the 2.44% inflation rate recorded by the Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA), Brazil’s official measure of inflation. Prices are increasing due the growing demand for food products and a boost in exports.

On Wednesday, the Bolsonaro administration demanded that commerce and agriculture representatives explain the price increase. If it is confirmed that they are committing predatory pricing, offenders could be fined over R$ 10 million (USD $1.8 million). The Brazilian Supermarket Association said that the sector has been struggling with price increases by manufacturers and suppliers. Farmers’ representatives say that the increase in consumption has led to an increase in prices.

Valor Econômico: Preço de alimentos no domicílio dispara
O Globo: Supermercados e produtores são notificados

2. Female participation in the job market at lowest level in 30 years

Female participation in the Brazilian job market is at its lowest level over the last 30 years, according to a study by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA). From April to June the percentage of female workers in Brazil dropped to 46.3%, down from 53.3% during the same period in 2019. The number goes against decades-long trend of women entering the workforce at higher rates.

The largest drop in female participation in the job market was among women with children 10 years old or younger. According to IPEA’s research, the number of workers from this group who were employed from April to June went to 50% from 58%. The institute believes that the pandemic affected women much more than it affected men. Besides working in sectors that were hardest hit – such as the service sector – and more remote work, many women stopped looking for jobs in order to take care of their children.

Jornal Nacional: Participação das mulheres no mercado de trabalho cai

3. Brazil registers record low number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began

Yesterday, Brazil registered the largest drop in the movable average of daily coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. According to data from state governments, on Thursday the movable average of new cases a day stood at 27,659 – a 29% drop compared to the previous 14 days. There is also a sustained downward trend in contamination rates.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 has also been dropping. In the past 24 hours – through 8pm last night – 922 people died of the virus, a 21% drop in the movable average of daily deaths. For the first time, the data survey indicated that in the city of São Paulo, the number of daily new cases is decreasing. Over the past seven days, including yesterday, the average number of new cases was between 1,000 and 1,500. In the previous week, it had stood at 1,400 and 2,000. The pandemic has already resulted in 129,000 deaths in Brazil and 4.3 million people being diagnosed with COVID-19.

O Globo: País registra a maior queda de número de casos
Folha de S.Paulo: Capital paulista demonstra desaceleração de contágio
O Globo: Acompanhe notícias sobre a pandemia
IRRD Covid-19: Veja o mapeamento de casos no Brasil e no mundo

4. 13.3 million students don’t know when they’ll get back to classrooms

At least 13.3 million students in municipal public schools don’t know when they will return to having in-person classes. Research conducted by the National Union of Municipal Education Directors (UNDIME) in partnership with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and Itaú Social reveals that out of the 4,472 cities surveyed, 3,769 (88%) don’t know when they’ll be able to return to their activities, while 471 of them are planning to return by November.

Of cities that are still unsure of when they will be able to return to classrooms a majority are in the Northeast (1,360 cities), followed by the Southeast (933) – the richest region in the country – the South (797), Center-West (372) and North (307). The survey, aimed at assessing the situation of students of municipal public schools, shows that 96% of cities were able to provide remote education to children and 84% of cities are also using printed materials in education.

O Globo: 13,3 milhões não sabem quando voltarão às escolas

5. Three vaccines are on trial in Brazil while Russian vaccine awaits authorization 

Three pharmaceutical companies are still testing the coronavirus vaccine in Brazil. AstraZeneca paused its clinical trials after a British patient developed serious adverse effects. The Chinese company Sinovac, which has a partnership with the Butantan Institute in São Paulo, has its vaccine in phase 3 trials, with 9,000 volunteers. If everything goes according to plan, they expect the vaccine to be available in large numbers by the end of the year or at the beginning of next year.

Pfizer, in partnership with BioNTech, began testing with Brazilian patients in August, offering the vaccine to 1,000 people in São Paulo and Bahia. Janssen is hoping to begin the final phase of trials in Brazil later this month. Two states are advancing in negotiations to allow the Russians to test their vaccine – Sputnik V – in Brazil. Paraná and Bahia have already requested that federal authorities allow trials to commence.

Valor Econômico: Vacina chinesa ganha força como opção