Brazil and Trade: Brazil's Ambivalent Welcome to the World

By Jaana Remes, Patricia Ellen

Just a few years ago, Brazil was brimming with optimism. Rising global demand for resources led to an export and consumption boom. The official poverty rate was declining sharply, thanks to an expansion of the social safety net and falling unemployment. When GDP growth hit 7.5 percent in 2010, it seemed that the “sleeping giant” was finally wide awake.

Today economic growth has ground to a halt. The aspiring middle class is frustrated by modest income growth, exorbitant prices for consumer goods and sky-high interest rates on household debt. Brazil’s current rate of...

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