Brazil is probably most famous for its fantastic football, its vibrant carnivals, its outstanding coffee, and maybe also for the spectacular beauty of Rio de Janeiro. We will here, through some facts and figures, try to give a more diversified picture of the country.

Brazil is an impressive player on world markets

  • Brazil is the World’s largest exporter of coffee, which is well known
  • Brazil is also, which is less well known, the World’s largest exporter of:

    • Soya
    • Meat
    • Chicken
    • Leather
    • Sugarcane
    • Fruit juices
  • Brazil is the World’s largest producer of bio-ethanol, with over 300 plants producing some 18 billion liters annually
  • Brazil is the World’s largest producer of iron ore
  • Brazil is a net exporter of oil
  • Of the energy that Brazil consumes, some 45% comes from renewable sources
Brazil is the world’s most diversified commodity producer with a wide range of metals and agricultural products …

Source: Bradesco

… and it is also the most diversified industrial country among emerging markets

Source: Bradesco

Brazil is the 10th largest economy in the world …

GDP (USD trillion), 2007

Source: IMF, United Nations, IBGE, national statistics

… and it is the 5th most populous country in the world

Population (million), 2007

Source: IMF, United Nations, IBGE, national statistics

Brazil has been running responsible economic policies with fiscal surplusses for over 15 years …

Primary fiscal balance (% of GDP)

Source: Moody’s

… which has lead to economic stability and low inflation

Consumer-price inflation (%)

Source: Moody’s

Brazil has entered a period of high economic growth, which is expected to continue

1987–92: Brazil was plagued by weak governments running populist economic policies, finally bringing the country into hyperinflation. The period, which started with the fall of the military government in 1985, was ended by the impeachment of President Collor on corruption charges. From 1987 to 1992, the economy grew on average by less than half a percent per year.

1993–97: The economy was stabilized and inflation was brought down to low levels through the Real Plan, which was based on an austere economic policy. The stabilization generated a huge redistribution of disposable income, which lead to a 40% increase in the living standard of the poor. The Real Plan also generated a large increase in economic growth, which averaged 4.0% per year during the period.

1998–2003: This period was characterized by consecutive economic crises, which hit emerging markets. It started with the Asian crisis in the Autumn of 1997, followed by the Russian crisis in 1998, the Brazilian crisis in 1999, and the Argentine crisis in 2001. Brazil saw its growth rate fall to an average of 1.6% per year during this period.

2004–07: The left-wing Labor Government of President Lula has continued the responsible economic policies of his predecessor, and strongly distanced himself from the populist policies of other left-wing politicians in the region. This has generated strong economic fundamentals, which has made Brazil much less sensitive to economic fluctuations abroad. “A sneeze on the U.S. real-estate market had 10 years ago caused pneumonia in Brazil”, President Lula said recently. And Brazil might, indeed, be one of the economies least affected by the current economic situation. Between 2004 and 2007, the Brazilian economy grew by an average 4.5% per year, and we expect this to continue in the long term, even if 2009 will see a slightly lower growth rate.

GDP growth rate (%, in real terms)

Source: IBGE, Moody’s

Brazilian International Trade has been growing fast, as the country is opening up

International trade (USD billion)

Source: MDIC

Brazil has seen a sharp reduction in poverty over the past 15 years

Poverty (% of total population)