Brazil in big corona troubles – next year’s presidential election the only hope?

08:12 by Hubert Fromlet, Kalmar

Brazil’s political, economic and social developments remain a mass. Currently, there is almost no light on the horizon.

The social misery (apart from the – since many years back – well-known problems): Covid-19 is a nightmare for this giant country, causing mountains of pain and sorrow. Officially, Brazilian infection (incidence) numbers are currently in relative terms even lower than in Sweden – but most probably much higher than reported (officially 15 million infections which is 7 % of the whole population and more than 400 000 deaths; 7 % is also the share for  the fully vaccinated people https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/).

The political misery: Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency has been widely failing, probably also to a high extent in the eyes of his conservative supporters from the presidential election in 2018. Is does not either seem probably that the Brazilian corporate sector can be happy so far with Bolsonaro’s efforts and results. His empathy for the terrible covid-19 disease must be regarded as completely insufficient – despite the fact that he personally was infected as well.

Consequently, many Brazilians see their hope for a better future in a promising change of president in October 2022, hopefully beyond the acute covid-19-crisis. What Brazil primarily needs are major improvements of institutions and education, now and in the longer run.

Can former union leader and Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2011) really be able to run for presidency in 2022 year’s elections? He may be eligible again after the Brazilian Supreme Court justice had turned down severe corruption charges against him. Anyway, during his time as a president, Lula achieved some progress in education and socially – but to what extent can he leave the previous accusations of corruption behind?

The economic misery: Looking at the current economic situation, does not make things better. There is no preliminary result for GDP in Q1 yet – but survey results for PMI indices have come down more recently. Furthermore, interest rates have been hiked in 2021, and unemployment has been climbing up. Brazil’s hope for an economic recovery is certainly related to visible progress in the fight against corona – but in the short run possibly even more to a global economic recovery and to better conditions for Brazilians exports already in the forthcoming quarters.

In the meanwhile, we also should hope for relief in the terrible Indian pandemic!

 

Hubert Fromlet
Affiliate Professor at the School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University
Editorial board

 

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