Brazil Sees 5,3% Growth with Domestic Market Making Up for Export Losses

Valtex Textile from Brazil The Brazilian economy performance in 2008 should not be affected by the international financial crisis, mainly due to the domestic demand. This is the evaluation of Brazil's National Confederation of Industries (CNI).

According to the quarterly Conjectural Information, disclosed on Friday, October 3, the CNI has increased to 5.3% its estimates for growth of the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year. The previous forecast, in June, was that the Brazilian economy would grow 4.7%.

In the evaluation of CNI technicians, the international crisis should only reflect in the economic results next year. The GDP in 2009 should grow 3.5%. To the CNI, the Brazilian capacity to face difficulties is greater than last year.

The country has great reserves, a substantial primary surplus, a developed banking regulation system and lower foreign dependency. "However, these conditions do not bar the unfolding of the global crisis from reaching Brazil," according to the Conjectural Information.

According to the study, the foreign crisis should reduce the international offer of credit and demand for Brazilian products. "The former should have more immediate effects, whereas the latter should present itself in a more progressive manner, as global trade loses dynamism," write the institution's technicians.

To the CNI, the non-renovation of foreign financing lines of credit, especially export credit, should create operational difficulties for companies. This way, according to the text, the Brazilian Central Bank should be aware of liquidity problems and of the greater cost of credit, once again evaluating the monetary policy, "which was not developed taking into consideration a more adverse environment as the one we are currently living."

The industrial sector should grow 5.5% this year, a little over the average growth of the economy as a whole. This performance should be boosted by the estimated civil construction growth of 8.7%. The transformation industry should grow 5.1% this year.

The expressive growth in demand, of almost 8% over 2007, sustains the industrial growth, which is being accompanied by sector investment. Last year, investment grew 13.4%. For this year, the CNI forecast is for similar growth as in 2007, that is, around 13.5%. The previous forecast, for June, was 10.5%.

CNI technicians estimate that the Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA), adopted for calculation of inflation targets, should be 6.2% this year, above the target for the year, but within the margin. The previous estimate, for June, was 6.4%. Interest rates should end the year at 14.5%, against a previous forecast of 14.25%.

In the CNI's evaluation, the trade balance should end 2008 with a surplus of US$ 25 billion, against a previous estimate of US$ 20 billion. Exports should total US$ 208 billion this year, more than the US$ 190 billion forecasted previously. Imports should reach US$ 183 billion, over the estimated US$ 170 billion in June this year.

According to the CNI technicians, foreign trade should post a better performance than that expected previously, due to greater export prices, which rose 29% from January to August, compensating the 1% reduction in the volume exported when compared to the same period last year.

CNI

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