Cityscape of São Paulo

Economic situation Great potential, structural weaknesses

In 2014, after a long period of stable growth, Brazil slid into an economic crisis. In 2015 and 2016, gross domestic product (GDP) fell by more than three per cent. The country experienced a strong rise in public debt and a massive increase in unemployment. Between 2017 and 2019, there was a slight recovery.

In 2020, the country went into a recession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (with GDP dropping by 3.9 per cent). However, by borrowing so as to provide financial assistance to help businesses, the Brazilian government did a better job of limiting the economic slump than many other countries in the region. In 2021, the economy bounced back – with GDP growing by 4.6 per cent – on the back of the services sector. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting that Brazil's economy will only experience weak growth over the next few years.

Export-oriented agricultural sector

The country's long-term economic potential is huge. Brazil is rich in natural resources and has a broad-based industrial sector and a well-trained workforce. Its agricultural sector makes an important contribution towards world food security. Brazil is one of the world's biggest producers of coffee, sugar, meat and soya. One challenge that remains is developing and implementing strategies for sustainable use of the country's vast natural resources in line with the goal of conserving the natural forests.

As at: 19/01/2023