Brazilians voice their anger as currency and economy continue their collapse
Jonathan Wheatley | Mar 09 12:58
The Brazilian real continued its collapse on Monday, passing the barrier of R$3.10 to the US dollar just three trading days after going through the R$3.00 barrier. The currency is at its weakest for more than a decade and has lost half of its value since its peak of R$1.54 to the dollar in July 2011.
There is little reason to expect a recovery any time soon.
President Dilma Rousseff went on national television on Sunday to ask for patience and understanding and was greeted by spontaneous protests in the country’s major cities, Brazilian media reported, describing citizens shouting “Dilma out” from their windows, banging pans, turning lights on and off and sounding car horns.
Many Brazilians are outraged by a corruption scandal at Petrobras, the national oil company, that is threatening to spiral out of control. They are also increasingly alarmed by the state of the economy, with both inflation and unemployment heading sharply upwards.
The central bank’s weekly survey of market economists, published on Monday, is looking increasingly behind the curve. It has the currency ending 2015 at R$2.95 to the dollar. It also predicts inflation of 7.77 per cent and economic growth of minus 0.66 per cent. All those measures are beginning to sound optimistic.