Brazilian Jobs Grow 3%, But for 12th in a Row GDP Projection Goes Down, to 0.79%

Brazilian worker In 2013, 1.49 million job openings were created in Brazil. In 2012, 1.15 million jobs had been created. According to figures released by the Annual Inventory of Social Information (Rais), issued by the Ministry of Labor and Employment, the number of registered workers in Brazil was up 3.14% in 2013 from 2012 to 48.9 million formal labor ties.

The number of statutory workers, the majority in the public sector, was up 4.85%. In 2013, 414,700 new statutory jobs were created.

The number of workers employed under the Consolidated Labor Laws regime (CLT, in the Portuguese acronym) was up 2.76%. This type of labor contract is prevalent in the private sphere and 1.075 million positions of this type were created.

The Rais inventory also shows that average income for formal workers was R$ 2,265.7 (US$ 999.6 at current exchange rates), up 3.18% from 2012.

Growth Projection

Financial market analysts are expecting an increasingly lower growth rate for Brazil’s economy. For the 12th week in a row, the estimate for this year’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), i.e. the sum of all goods and services produced in the country, has been revised down.

This time, the projection has gone from 0.81% to 0.79%. The rate is a median of expectations (disregarding extreme projections) by financial institutions polled on a weekly basis by the Brazilian Central Bank, regarding the main economic indicators.

For 2015, the GDP growth projection remains at 1.2%. Industry output is expected to be down 1.76% this year. As of last week, a 1.53% decline was expected. Next year, industry output is expected to rebound and be up 1.7%.

The Central Bank reported that economic activity declined by 1.2% in Q2 from Q1 this year. The Central Bank’s Economic Activity Index (IBC-Br) keeps track of economic performance trends.

Brazilian trade balance posts surplus in August

Surplus

The Brazilian trade balance closed the third week of August on a surplus of US$ 684 million. Month-to-date, the balance is running a surplus of US$ 348 million.

According to data referring to the week between August 11th and 17th disclosed by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC), a total of US$ 5.347 billion were exported, averaging at US$ 1.069 billion per day. This result is 17.6% higher than the one posted in the first two weeks of the month.

According to the MDIC, shipments increased in the three product categories in comparison to the second week of the month. Among semi-manufactured goods, the increase of 33.7% was driven by the shipments of raw sugar, wood pulp, semi-manufactured iron, steel and gold.

Sales of manufactured goods increased by 25.1%, highlighting fuel oils, automobiles, flat-rolled products, refined sugar, non-frozen orange juice and land levelers. Basic goods sales had a hike of 11.5% due to the increase in shipments of soy beans, iron ore, grain maize, coffee beans and leaf tobacco.

Imports in the period amounted to US$ 4.663 billion, averaging at US$ 932.6 million per day and down 3.4% from the first two weeks of August. Among imported goods, the most significant declines were seen in fuels and lubricants, automobiles and parts, organic and inorganic chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Exports in the first three weeks of August stood at US$ 10.802 billion, averaging at US$ 982 million per day. This poses an increase of 0.8%, by the daily average, August-on-August. August-on-July, however, shipments were down 1.9%.

Imports, in turn, reached US$ 10.454 billion, averaging at US$ 950.4 million per day. This total is up 3.5% from August 2013 and 1.9% from July this year.

In the year, exports amounted to US$ 144.357 billion and imports, to US$ 144.928 billion. Up until the third week of August 2014, the Brazilian trade balance is running a US$ 571 million deficit.

Credit and debit card transactions conducted in Brazil in the first half of this year were up 16.3% from the same period in 2013. Sales using the two types of cards amounted to R$ 455 billion (US$ 202.2 billion), according to a survey released this Tuesday (19th) by the Brazilian Credit Card and Services Association (Abecs).

As per the survey, credit card transactions increased by 13.5% to R$ 291 billion (US$ 129.3 billion). Debit card transactions were up 21.6% to R$ 164 billion (US$ 72.88 billion). Credit card spending by foreigners in Brazil also soared due to the FIFA World Cup. Foreign visitors spent R$ 1.3 billion (US$ 577.7 million) using credit cards in June, up 96.9% from June 2013.

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