Brazil Economic Forecast: Banks Warn Nation Heading to 2-Year Recession
Brazil needs to brace itself for some very tough times. Brazilian banks are currently forecasting another economic contraction for the South American country in 2016, marking the first time that Brazil’s economy has shrunk in two consecutive years since the Great Depression.
Last Friday, economist Nelson Teixeira of Switzerland-based financial services holding company Credit Suisse released a revision of his already dour forecast for the Brazilian GDP, moving this year’s numbers from -1.8 percent to -2.4 percent.
All of Brazil’s banks -- save Banco Santander Brasil -- are bearish right now. The nation’s two largest private banks, Itau and Bradesco, are preparing for an extended recession period, with Itau forecasting a 2.2 percent contraction this year and Bradesco expecting the Brazilian economy to flatline in 2016.
Kenneth Rapoza of Forbes is quick to point out Brazil's economic figures are mercurial, changing from week to week. Coupled with the political problems facing the country, such as the Petrobras scandal that is linked to president Dilma Rousseff, he sees that the country is in a particularly vulnerable place.
Just a few years ago, Brazil -- with its socialist experiments aimed at raising millions of people out of poverty -- was being celebrated for what looked like success. But, as the current state of its economy now leads to a loss of jobs and an impending recession, optimism has faded.
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, a correspondent with NPR, went to the city of Sao Paulo to speak with Brazilians about the state of the economy. Selma Bertagnoli, an administrator she talked with, lamented that all the recent prosperity was in fact illusory. "It was really the illusion of being able to access a better life. It was a pseudo-ascension. Today, we are seeing the sad reality," said Bertagnoli.