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Brazil-Trade Policies

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Brazil's economic history has been influenced remarkably by foreign trade trends and policies. Successive cycles of export booms in such commodities as sugar, gold and diamonds, rubber, and coffee played major roles in Brazilian development before World War II. In the 1930s, the collapse of coffee prices signaled a turn inward, resulting in a nascent industrialization. In succeeding decades, industrial development was fostered deliberately through restrictive trade policies, making Brazil a relatively closed economy by the mid-1960s. Only in the early 1990s did Brazil begin significant liberalization of its trade policies, and even these reforms were modest by comparison with those in a number of other Latin American nations.

Government intervention in foreign trade has a long history in Brazil, reaching back to the colonial period when Portugal forbade Brazilian trade with other nations. Following independence in 1822, Brazil opened its ports and expanded its trade with other nations, particularly Britain. Extensive government regulation of trade continued, however, with tariffs providing over half of the government's revenue before World War I. Other forms of intervention in trade included the 1906 coffee price support plan, which was a sophisticated attempt to exploit Brazil's monopolistic position in the world coffee market.

Before World War II, trade policies were used mostly as a source of revenue or as a response to specific groups such as the coffee producers, rather than as a means of achieving national economic goals. In the early 1950s, Brazil began to use trade policy in a more deliberate way to promote industrialization. The forced reduction in Brazilian imports after 1929 had resulted in the first major industrial growth in Brazil, centered in São Paulo. Heeding this apparent lesson, policy makers in the 1950s argued that measures that deliberately reduced imports would stimulate domestic production, thereby encouraging technological development and increasing employment in activities that were regarded as more "modern" than Brazil's traditional agricultural and extractive activities.

Between 1953 and 1957, Brazil attempted to use multiple exchange rates to encourage some trade transactions and discourage others. In 1957 the country instituted a broad ad valorem tariff system under Law 3,244. The new system created not only a new tariff structure but also the administrative machinery to impose or revise tariffs in accord with national development objectives and requests by domestic producers for protection. Implementation of the system heavily favored domestic producers of manufactured consumer goods, while permitting the import of capital and intermediate goods at much lower tariffs. For some goods, protection was great enough to completely eliminate competing imports from the Brazilian market.

Following the imposition of military rule in 1964, Brazil once again modified its trade policies. The new government moved quickly to eliminate some of the restrictions on Brazilian exports, and it provided special incentives for exports of manufactures. In March 1967, it significantly cut tariffs, which fell to about half their former level in a number of sectors. Brazilian imports soon increased, but this was more the result of the acceleration of economic growth after 1967 than of the tariff reforms. During the "economic miracle" between 1967 and 1973, the GDP grew at record rates. Throughout this period, trade policy continued to be relatively open in comparison with Brazilian policies before or after the economic miracle.

The steep rise in world oil prices that began in late 1973 soon ended Brazil's move toward greater trade openness. The approximate balance between imports and exports in the early 1970s became an unprecedented US$4.7 billion deficit in 1974. Although record levels of external capital flows financed this deficit, Brazilian policy makers responded by restricting imports. In June 1974, import financing for many products was suspended, while tariff rates on more than 900 items were doubled. Over the year, restrictions were increased further, and in 1975 the government required that imports be paid for in advance with deposits that did not earn interest or any correction for inflation. On the export side, further measures were taken to promote exports, especially for manufactures. Despite these measures, Brazil's trade balance remained in deficit for most of the 1970s.

The worsening of Brazil's external payments position in the early 1980s forced policy makers to turn to other measures to attempt to restore external balance, among them adjustment in the exchange rate, which was devalued sharply early in 1983. Controls on trade were not relaxed, however, and the cessation of voluntary lending to Brazil following the Mexican debt crisis in 1982 had significant effects on trade policy. Import controls that had been introduced in response to the worsening trade balance in 1980 were strengthened by centralization of all foreign-exchange transactions in the Central Bank. A negative list, which enumerated items whose import was suspended, was expanded considerably, and financing for imports was further restricted.

The combination of tightened import controls, real depreciation, and the fall in domestic demand induced by the restrictive macroeconomic policies of the early 1980s resulted in a sharp adjustment in Brazil's external accounts. The magnitude of the adjustment appears to have surprised even many of its proponents, both in the Brazilian government and among creditors. After 1983 the massive trade surpluses averaged more than 3 percent of GDP, compared with negative or negligible levels through most of the 1968-82 period. In 1984, as the full effects of the adjustment program were felt, exports were about double imports, and Brazil's trade surplus reached an unprecedented 6.1 percent of GDP, far exceeding the comparable shares in other important economies such as Japan (3.5 percent of GDP) and West Germany (3.8 percent).

Most of the import controls that were used after 1982 were in place well before the cessation of voluntary external lending. One of these measures, introduced in 1980 following the worsening of the current account, was the financing requirement for specific imports. Another form of import control, much used after 1982, was the establishment of formal import programs, which were negotiated agreements between importing firms and the Department of Foreign Trade (Carteira de Comércio Exterior--Cacex). These agreements in effect turned the import decision into a process that depended more on administrative and political considerations than on economic merit. The high degree of administrative control that these agreements gave to Cacex created problems, because middle-level trade officials acquired extensive control over the fortunes of an enterprise through their ability to approve particular trade transactions.

By 1984 it was clear that the successful external adjustment had a domestic price, as inflation accelerated to more than 200 percent at annual rates. Trade policy consequently began to be viewed as a potential instrument for internal stabilization, with some import liberalization viewed as a potential contributor to reduced inflation.

In late 1984, a number of the direct controls on imports were cut back, and the number of products on the negative list was reduced substantially. Import financing requirements were also relaxed through exemptions, and tariff surcharges were replaced by smaller additions to the legal tariff. On the administrative side, the Cacex policy of import restrictions for balance of payments purposes was reduced.

In February 1986, following several months in which the prices accelerated at an average of more than 500 percent, the Sarney government decreed the now infamous Cruzado Plan. Although the plan was presented as a definitive program to de-index the economy and wipe out inflation, its main thrust was to freeze prices. Wages were not frozen and in fact were increased by 8 percent when the plan was announced. Foreign economic policy in the plan consisted primarily of fixing the exchange rate, and no trade policy changes were included in the plan.

The combination of increased domestic real income, a fixed nominal exchange rate, and a fall in nominal interest rates soon produced a sharp increase in excess demand. In sectors less affected by price controls, such as clothing or used automobiles, prices rose sharply. The effects on the trade balance were apparent within several months after the plan was decreed. The value of monthly exports fell by about 40 percent between March and November 1986, and imports rose rapidly beginning in May. For the year, exports fell by 12.7 percent from 1985 levels, and imports increased by 5.7 percent. Brazil's external payments problems, which had appeared to be largely resolved by the record trade balances after 1983, emerged once again, as the trade balance fell from US$12.5 billion in 1985 to US$8.3 billion in 1986.

The policy response to the worsening trade balance consisted of a small 1.8 percent devaluation in October 1986, accompanied by administrative tightening of import controls. In early 1987, the negative list was once again increased, and some of the loss in exchange-rate competitiveness was regained with nominal devaluations of the cruzado (for value of the cruzado--see Glossary) of 7.8 percent and 8.7 percent in May and June of 1987.

Brazil's second price-stabilization attempt, popularly known as the Bresser Plan, was announced by the new minister of finance, Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira, in June 1987. In contrast to the ill-fated Cruzado Plan, the Bresser Plan did not attempt to use external economic policy as an instrument for internal stabilization. Brazil returned to its earlier and generally successful "crawling-peg" policy, which consisted of frequent small devaluations roughly in line with domestic inflation. The trade balance improved with the fall in domestic demand resulting from the Bresser Plan, and a current-account balance was attained by the end of 1987.

The improving external payments situation permitted some modest liberalization, beginning with a reduction of the negative list in September 1987. Import financing requirements were once again relaxed, and in late 1988 Cacex announced an expansion of import program levels for 1989. The 1988 reforms also simplified the existing tariff system. Average rates were lowered from over 50 percent to about 40 percent. Moreover, the dispersion or variability of rates was reduced; the highest tariffs were brought down from 105 to 85 percent, and the number of different rates was reduced from twenty-nine to eighteen. The reforms further simplified the tariff system by consolidating the rules covering import transactions, reducing the number of agencies directly involved in the approval of trade transactions, and establishing greater automaticity in the approval process.

The contrast between the favorable external payments situation and Brazil's internal deficit became even more marked in 1988, as export value increased to record levels. The favorable external situation permitted a continuation of import liberalization. In August 1988, Cacex permitted firms to exceed considerably their programmed imports of capital and intermediate goods. Despite this modest relaxation of import policy, there was no noticeable increase in total imports, which actually fell slightly in 1988 from their 1987 level.

In January 1989, the government announced the Summer Plan, which temporarily froze wages and the exchange rate. Despite the announcement of further fiscal tightening, expenditures declined little and the budget deficit worsened as a result of freezing prices for public-sector services. By mid-1989 most other prices were rising at more than 30 percent per month, ending the year with a monthly rate of about 50 percent. Imports began to increase significantly in mid-1989, and Brazil's 1989 trade surplus was US$16.1 billion, well below the record US$19.2 billion of the preceding year. Although some of the increase in the level of imports may be attributable to the modest loosening of some import controls in the preceding year, major factors behind the worsening trade balance were the recovery of industrial activity and increasing overvaluation of the new cruzado (cruzado novo). In late 1989, the Customs Policy Council (Conselho para Política Aduaneira--CPA) issued Resolution 1,666, which further cut tariffs. The effect of this change was to reduce the average legal tariff from 41 to 35.5 percent. Many of the changes occurred in sectors that had formerly enjoyed high levels of protection, among them electrical equipment, some capital goods, and chemicals (see table 16, Appendix).

At the end of the Sarney government, inflation rates were at the threshold of hyperinflation, with the monthly rates in the first two months of 1990 at over 70 percent. Although the trade balance had fallen to about a third of the levels of the preceding year, Brazilian policy makers were clearly focused on internal stabilization; trade policy reform was a recognized but secondary goal.

Collor de Mello succeeded Sarney in March 1990. During the election campaign, Collor de Mello had successfully portrayed himself as an opponent of an intrusive, interventionist bureaucracy. His rhetoric, which included attacks on corruption and highly paid officials (marajás ), emphasized deregulation and greater openness to world markets. The consequences of this political and ideological change for Brazilian trade policy were not long in coming. One of Collor de Mello's early moves was to abolish Cacex, by that time the subject of widespread criticism and frequent allegations of corruption by the business community. The Technical Coordinating Office for Trade (Coordenadoria Técnica de Intercâmbio Comercial--CTIC), a slimmer and less powerful agency under the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Planning, took over the Cacex's functions.

Although import licenses were not abolished, their approval became a relatively routine operation, and by 1991 most licenses were being issued within five working days. The CTIC became primarily a reporting and registration agency, which had little of the discretionary power formerly exercised by Cacex. The former CPA, which had been far overshadowed by Cacex, was replaced by an agency coequal with the CTIC, the Technical Coordinating Office for Tariffs (Coordenadoria Técnica de Tarifas--CTT). With the shift in emphasis in trade policy from discretionary administrative control to the automaticity of published tariffs, many of them limited by Brazil's treaty commitments, the CTT's role in formulating import policy became significantly greater than the CPA's had been.

Early in 1991, the Collor de Mello government announced a series of tariff reductions to be phased in over the 1991-94 period. These were among the most far-reaching and significant reductions in Brazilian trade protection in several decades. Earlier tariff reductions often had been largely cosmetic, only reducing rates that were prohibitive to high levels that still barred many imports. The 1991 reforms went much further, and in many sectors reduced rates to about a third of their level in the early 1980s. Equally important, the reforms reduced the wide variability or dispersion of tariff rates that were once characteristic of Brazilian trade policy. The overall trend in Brazilian trade policy is clear. By the mid-1990s, Brazil had become a much more open economy than it had been a decade earlier.

Data as of April 1997

BackgroundFollowing more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil peacefully gained its independence in 1822, maintaining a monarchical system of government until the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military in 1889. Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the country until populist leader Getulio VARGAS rose to power in 1930. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil underwent more than half a century of populist and military government until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers. Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of its interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, it is today South America's leading economic power and a regional leader. Highly unequal income distribution and crime remain pressing problems.
LocationEastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean
Area(sq km)total: 8,514,877 sq km
land: 8,459,417 sq km
water: 55,460 sq km
note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo
Geographic coordinates10 00 S, 55 00 W
Land boundaries(km)total: 16,885 km
border countries: Argentina 1,261 km, Bolivia 3,423 km, Colombia 1,644 km, French Guiana 730 km, Guyana 1,606 km, Paraguay 1,365 km, Peru 2,995 km, Suriname 593 km, Uruguay 1,068 km, Venezuela 2,200 km

Coastline(km)7,491 km

Climatemostly tropical, but temperate in south

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico da Neblina 3,014 m
Natural resourcesbauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber
Land use(%)arable land: 6.93%
permanent crops: 0.89%
other: 92.18% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)29,200 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)8,233 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 59.3 cu km/yr (20%/18%/62%)
per capita: 318 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardsrecurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south
Environment - current issuesdeforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; there is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade; air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining activities; wetland degradation; severe oil spills
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelargest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador
note: Brazil conducted a census in August 2000, which reported a population of 169,872,855; that figure was about 3.8% lower than projections by the US Census Bureau, and is close to the implied underenumeration of 4.6% for the 1991 census (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 26.7% (male 27,092,880/female 26,062,244)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 65,804,108/female 67,047,725)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 5,374,230/female 7,358,082) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 28.6 years
male: 27.8 years
female: 29.3 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)1.199% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)18.43 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)6.35 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 86% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 22.58 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 71.99 years
male: 68.43 years
female: 75.73 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)2.21 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Brazilian(s)
adjective: Brazilian
Ethnic groups(%)white 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2000 census)

Religions(%)Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Spiritualist 1.3%, Bantu/voodoo 0.3%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.2%, none 7.4% (2000 census)
Languages(%)Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language); note - less common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German, Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian languages

Country nameconventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil
conventional short form: Brazil
local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil
local short form: Brasil
Government typefederal republic
Capitalname: Brasilia
geographic coordinates: 15 47 S, 47 55 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins third Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in February
note: Brazil is divided into four time zones, including one for the Fernando de Noronha Islands
Administrative divisions26 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal*, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins

Legal systembased on Roman codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffragevoluntary between 16 and 18 years of age and over 70; compulsory over 18 and under 70 years of age; note - military conscripts do not vote
Executive branchchief of state: President Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (since 1 January 2003); Vice President Jose ALENCAR Gomes da Silva (since 1 January 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (since 1 January 2003); Vice President Jose ALENCAR Gomes da Silva (since 1 January 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held 1 October 2006 with runoff 29 October 2006 (next to be held 3 October 2010 and, if necessary, 31 October 2010)
election results: Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (PT) reelected president - 60.83%, Geraldo ALCKMIN (PSDB) 39.17%

Legislative branchbicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats; 3 members from each state and federal district elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third and two-thirds elected every four years, alternately) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara dos Deputados (513 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: Federal Senate - last held 1 October 2006 for one-third of the Senate (next to be held in October 2010 for two-thirds of the Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held 1 October 2006 (next to be held in October 2010)
election results: Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PFL 6, PSDB 5, PMDB 4, PTB 3, PT 2, PDT 1, PSB 1, PL 1, PPS 1, PRTB 1, PP 1, PCdoB 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PMDB 89, PT 83, PFL 65, PSDB 65, PP 42, PSB 27, PDT 24, PL 23, PTB 22, PPS 21, PCdoB 13, PV 13, PSC 9, other 17; note - as of 1 January 2009, the composition of the entire legislature is as follows: Federal Senate - seats by party - PMDB 21, DEM (formerly PFL) 12, PSDB 13, PT 12, PTB 7, PDT 5, PR 4, PSB 2, PCdoB 1, PRB 1, PP 1, PSC 1, PSOL 1; Chamber of Deputies - seats by party - PMDB 95, PT 79, PSDB 59, DEM (formerly PFL) 53, PR 44, PP 40, PSB 29, PDT 25, PTB 19, PPS 14, PV 14, PCdoB 13, PSC 11, PMN 5, PRB 4, PHS 3, PSOL 3, PTC 1, PTdoB 1

Judicial branchSupreme Federal Tribunal or STF (11 ministers are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate); Higher Tribunal of Justice; Regional Federal Tribunals (judges are appointed for life); note - though appointed "for life," judges, like all federal employees, have a mandatory retirement age of 70

Political pressure groups and leadersLandless Workers' Movement or MST
other: labor unions and federations; large farmers' associations; religious groups including evangelical Christian churches and the Catholic Church
International organization participationAfDB (nonregional member), BIS, CAN (associate), CPLP, FAO, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), Mercosur, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, RG, SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Flag descriptiongreen with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars (one for each state and the Federal District) arranged in the same pattern as the night sky over Brazil; the globe has a white equatorial band with the motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress)

Economy - overviewCharacterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and Brazil is expanding its presence in world markets. From 2003 to 2007, Brazil ran record trade surpluses and recorded its first current account surpluses since 1992. Productivity gains coupled with high commodity prices contributed to the surge in exports. Brazil improved its debt profile in 2006 by shifting its debt burden toward real denominated and domestically held instruments. LULA da Silva restated his commitment to fiscal responsibility by maintaining the country's primary surplus during the 2006 election. Following his second inauguration in October of that year, LULA da Silva announced a package of further economic reforms to reduce taxes and increase investment in infrastructure. Brazil's debt achieved investment grade status early in 2008, but the government's attempt to achieve strong growth while reducing the debt burden created inflationary pressures. For most of 2008, the Central Bank embarked on a restrictive monetary policy to stem these pressures. Since the onset of the global financial crisis in September, Brazil's currency and its stock market - Bovespa - have significantly lost value, -41% for Bovespa for the year ending 30 December 2008. Brazil incurred another current account deficit in 2008, as world demand and prices for commodities dropped in the second-half of the year.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.998 trillion (2008 est.)
$1.901 trillion (2007 est.)
$1.798 trillion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.573 trillion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)5.1% (2008 est.)
5.7% (2007 est.)
4% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$10,200 (2008 est.)
$9,800 (2007 est.)
$9,400 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 6.7%
industry: 28%
services: 65.3% (2008 est.)
Labor force93.65 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 20%
industry: 14%
services: 66% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate(%)7.9% (2008 est.)
9.3% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line(%)31% (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 1.1%
highest 10%: 43% (2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index56.7 (2005)
60.7 (1998)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)19% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: NA
expenditures: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)5.7% (2008 est.)
3.6% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$95.03 billion (31 December 2008)
$131.1 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$724.5 billion (31 December 2008)
$792.8 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$1.249 trillion (31 December 2008)
$1.377 trillion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$589.4 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.37 trillion (31 December 2007)
$711.1 billion (31 December 2006)
Economic aid - recipient$191.9 million (2005)

Public debt(% of GDP)38.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
52% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productscoffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef
Industriestextiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment

Industrial production growth rate(%)4.3% (2008 est.)

Current account balance-$28.19 billion (2008 est.)
$1.551 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$197.9 billion (2008 est.)
$160.6 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos
Exports - partners(%)US 14.4%, China 12.4%, Argentina 8.4%, Netherlands 5%, Germany 4.5% (2008)
Imports$173.1 billion (2008 est.)
$120.6 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics
Imports - partners(%)US 14.9%, China 11.6%, Argentina 7.9%, Germany 7% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$193.8 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$180.3 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$262.9 billion (31 December 2008)
$240.5 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$294 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$248.9 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$127.5 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$107.1 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange ratesreals (BRL) per US dollar - 1.8644 (2008 est.), 1.85 (2007 est.), 2.1761 (2006), 2.4344 (2005), 2.9251 (2004)

Currency (code)real (BRL)

Telephones - main lines in use41.141 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular150.641 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: good working system; fixed-line connections have remained relatively stable in recent years and stand at about 20 per 100 persons; less expensive mobile cellular technology is a major driver in expanding telephone service to the low-income segment of the population with mobile-cellular telephone density reaching 80 per 100 persons
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 64 earth stations; mobile-cellular usage has more than tripled in the past 5 years
international: country code - 55; landing point for a number of submarine cables, including Atlantis 2, that provide direct links to South and Central America, the Caribbean, the US, Africa, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region east), connected by microwave relay system to Mercosur Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station (2008)
Internet country code.br
Internet users64.948 million (2008)
Airports4,000 (2009)
Pipelines(km)condensate/gas 62 km; gas 9,892 km; liquid petroleum gas 353 km; oil 4,517 km; refined products 4,465 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 1,751,868 km
paved: 96,353 km
unpaved: 1,655,515 km (2004)

Ports and terminalsGuaiba, Ilha Grande, Paranagua, Rio Grande, Santos, Sao Sebastiao, Tubarao
Military branchesBrazilian Army (Exercito Brasileiro, EB), Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil (MB), includes Naval Air and Marine Corps (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais)), Brazilian Air Force (Forca Aerea Brasileira, FAB) (2009)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)21-45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 9 to 12 months; 17-45 years of age for voluntary service; an increasing percentage of the ranks are "long-service" volunteer professionals; women were allowed to serve in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s when the Brazilian Army became the first army in South America to accept women into career ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve Corps (2001)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 52,523,552
females age 16-49: 52,628,945 (2009 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 38,043,555
females age 16-49: 44,267,520 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 1,690,031
female: 1,630,851 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)2.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Disputes - internationalunruly region at convergence of Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay borders is locus of money laundering, smuggling, arms and illegal narcotics trafficking, and fundraising for extremist organizations; uncontested boundary dispute with Uruguay over Isla Brasilera at the confluence of the Quarai/Cuareim and Invernada rivers, that form a tripoint with Argentina; the Itaipu Dam reservoir covers over a once contested section of Brazil-Paraguay boundary west of Guaira Falls on the Rio Parana; an accord placed the long-disputed Isla Suarez/Ilha de Guajara-Mirim, a fluvial island on the Rio Mamore, under Bolivian administration in 1958, but sovereignty remains in dispute

Electricity - production(kWh)438.8 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 8.3%
hydro: 82.7%
nuclear: 4.4%
other: 4.6% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)404.3 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)2.034 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)42.06 billion kWh; note - supplied by Paraguay (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)2.422 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)2.52 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)570,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)632,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)12.62 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)12.62 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)23.65 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)365 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.6% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS730,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths15,000 (2007 est.)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.6%
male: 88.4%
female: 88.8% (2004 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2005)
Education expenditures(% of GDP)4% of GDP (2004)

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