Brazil business confidence hits record low in May

Published: May 30, 2018 15:56:15 | Updated: June 01, 2018 19:34:38

Representational image (Collected)

The business confidence index (BCI) of Brazil dipped in May to its lowest level since November 2017, dragged down by the slow pace of economic recovery, according to a report released Tuesday.

The BCI decreased 0.6 in May to settle at 92.8 points, the lowest level since November's 92.1 points, the country’s Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) showed in the report.

The a policy think tank said, "After remaining stable at the beginning of the year, business confidence retracted for the second month in a row, influenced by dissatisfaction with the slow pace of the economy, political uncertainty and poorer external outlooks."

The index could slump considerably in June, because this survey was carried out before a massive nationwide truckers' strike paralyzed Brazil for over a week starting May 21, leading to economic losses for many businesses, the foundation said.

Confidence was most eroded in the sales (-4.1 points) and services (-2.4 points) sectors, while the BCI remained steady in the industrial and construction sectors, reports Xinhua.

Brazil is recovering from its worst recession ever, which saw the economy shrink in 2015 and 2016, with GDP falling 7 per cent.

In 2017, Brazil's economy grew one per cent, and this year's forecast called for 3.0 per cent growth, but high unemployment and lower domestic spending has curtailed expansion.

The latest market forecast calls for 2.37 per cent growth.

Unemployment was at 12.9 per cent for the three-month period from February to April, meaning 13.4 million people were out of work, the state statistics agency IBGE said Tuesday.

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