Brazil Fails to Benefit from Commodity Boom with Deficits and Inflation

Unlike the boom and low dollar period in the 2000s, the country does not benefit as much now

The soaring prices of products exported by Brazil are not benefiting the economy as much as in the last commodity boom from the early 2000s until the middle of the last decade.

During that time period, there was an acceleration of economic growth and a fall in the dollar, which helped to keep inflation relatively under control, increase national income, and bring down the extreme poverty rate, from 27.5% of the population in 2001 to 8.4% in 2014.

This time, although the prices of agricultural and mineral products have soared (average increase of 50% in dollars since 2020), there is an environment of global inflation, which has made imports more expensive, especially fuel and fertilizers, as well as consumer goods and machinery and equipment.

This reduced the amount of products Brazil could import with the dollars from its exports, worsening the terms of trade.

Another fundamental difference is that Brazil kept its public accounts adjusted in the 2000s and until 2013, with annual primary surpluses to pay interest on the public debt and reduce state indebtedness.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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