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Brazil 2014 job data disappoints
January 24, 2015, 6:14 am

Brazil's economy barely added jobs in 2014, government data showed on Friday [Xinhua]

Brazil’s economy barely added jobs in 2014, government data showed on Friday [Xinhua]

Latest data shows the Brazilian private sector hit the brakes in 2014 with job generation in Brazil falling 64.4 per cent last year compared to 2013, said the Brazilian government on Friday.

According to an employment report by the Labour Ministry, a total of 396,993 jobs were created in the country last year, sharply down from 1.11 million in 2013.

Last year’s figure was the worst since Brazil’s Labour Ministry launched the current job generation measurement system in 2002.  After years of steady growth and poverty reduction, Brazil’s economy has stagnated.

Labor Minister Manoel Dias, who took office in early January this year, tried to play down the slump, saying that last year was atypical and full of turmoil.

“It was an atypical year, with a FIFA World Cup and elections. It was a year of global crisis. That certainly affected job generation,” said Dias, predicting that employment will improve in 2015.

Brazilian Finance Minister Joaquim Levy said in an interview to the Wall Street Journal in Davos that Thursday’s move by the European Central Bank to begin a program of quantitative easing would boost investment in Brazil and increase demand for Brazilian exports, which have fallen recently.

Brazil’s Central Bank boosted the benchmark Selic rate to 12.25 percent on Wednesday as it battles to bring down inflation currently running at about 6.5 per cent annually. The high interest rates have piqued the interest of foreign investors with Central Bank data showing about $2.3 billion have flown into Brazil during the week ending Jan 16, practically offsetting outflows of $2.4 billion recorded during the first nine days of the year.

Brazil registered a current account deficit of $90.95 billion in 2014, accounting for 4.17 per cent of the country’s GDP, Brazil’s Central Bank announced Friday.

The situation is worse than the Central Bank’s projection for 2014 and the deficit in the year before. In 2013, the deficit stood at 3.62 per cent of the GDP.

Meanwhile, the financial account recorded a favorable balance of $99 billion, up from $72.6 billion in 2013.

Foreign direct investment amounted to $62.5 billion or 2.95 per cent of the GDP, down from $64 billion or 2.85 per cent of the GDP in 2013. Last year Brazilian investments abroad totaled $3.5 billion, up 1.3 per cent from 2013.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves added up to $374.1 billion by the end of the 2014, down from $375.8 billion in December 2013.

The services account had a deficit of $48.7 billion in 2014, up 3.3 per cent from one year earlier, said the bank. Net revenues of royalties and license fees hit $3.3 billion, rising 8.8 per cent year on year.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff kicked off a second term earlier this month, vowing to tackle corruption and revamp the economy.

Source: Agencies

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