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Brazil's Troubled Economy - 10/9/15

While economists and others have become a bit more nervous regarding near-term U.S. economic prospects, at least matters here are nowhere near as bad as they are in Brazil.  The Brazilian currency, the real, has declined roughly thirty five percent against the U.S. dollar this year, hitting an all-time low recently. 

Among other things, as reported by the Associated Press, Brazilians are curtailing visits to the U.S.  They simply can’t afford it with inflation running at nearly ten percent, well above the government’s ceiling target of six point five percent.  The construction industry has been hit by a combination of scandals that have paralyzed the nation’s oil producer and the general slowing of economic activity. 

While Americans are complaining that monthly employment growth has dipped below two hundred thousand per month recently, Brazil has lost nearly a million jobs over the past year according to the Labor Ministry.  Brazil recently lost its investment grade status when Standard & Poor’s downgraded the nation’s sovereign debt.  Stockholders are also suffering.  Companies listed on Brazil’s main Bovespa stock market has lost about one trillion dollars in value since early two thousand and eleven.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.