Continued financial turmoil in Europe is likely to diminish numbers of foreign visitors to Rio during Carnival this year, experts predict, but increased domestic tourism will likely more than compensate for the shortfall in visitors. However the different tourist profile has some concerned that lower spending levels are likely during Rio’s largest annual holiday.
For the first time since 2002 Brazil may be forced to introduce power rationing, as high temperatures and a relentless drought in the Northeast have severely diminished reservoir levels. President Dilma Rousseff has called an emergency meeting to discuss energy shortages on Wednesday in Brasília, reported Folha de São Paulo.
Following power cuts last month that plunged large swathes of the country into darkness, including Rio de Janeiro’s airports, Rousseff sought to allay fears over energy shortages, dismissing the risk of power rationing as “ridiculous.”
Yet surging consumption during a particularly hot and dry December has put extra strain on dwindling resources.
Putting Christmas dinner on the table could be considerably pricier than last year, research shows. The prices of typical holiday food like chicken, pork and bacalhau, or salt cod, typically eaten by Brazilians on Christmas Eve, have risen by 18.60 percent according to a Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) study.
Protectionism made news again in Brazil recently, when Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced that Brazilian firms could avoid a 30 percent tax increase on the auto industry by improving fuel efficiency, using Brazilian-made parts and investing in Brazilian research and development. Foreign automakers without a manufacturing plant in Brazil will be subject to the tax hike, Vejanoted.
The program is designed to encourage innovation in technology and fuel efficiency, Mantega argued. Any negative effect on foreign imported cars, he said, was merely collateral damage.
It’s no surprise he is feeling a little defensive.
A federal court has served Chevron and Transocean with a preliminary injunction ordering them to halt operations in Brazil within thirty days. The injunction comes in relation to civil lawsuits resulting from a November 2011 oil leak off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, in the Campos Basin’s Frade field, which is operated by Chevron using a Transocean rig.
BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL – President Dilma Rousseff will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron this Friday morning, as he arrives in Brazil for a trip that will include visits to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. On the table during Friday’s bilateral meeting will likely be science, technology, the Olympics and “an intensification of economic and commercial ties,” a spokesperson for the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, Itamaraty, said by telephone Monday.
Finance Minister Guido Mantega revised Brazil’s economic growth forecast for this year to two percent Thursday, from an earlier estimate of three percent. The downgrade comes as a response to Brazil’s continuing struggle with an economy that has stagnated over the past 18 months, growing just 2.7 percent in 2011, down from 7.5 percent in 2010, as it faces shockwaves from the global economic crisis and China’s economic slowdown.
The newest addition to Rio de Janeiro state’s Superporto do Açu will be where Norwegian company Subsea 7 plans to begin manufacturing oil and gas pipelines in 2014. The R$21 million-per-year lease was signed following Subsea 7’s withdrawal from plans to build the project in the southeastern state of Paraná, where difficulties in obtaining an environmental license blocked the company’s first choice of location.
Brazil cut its benchmark Selic interest rate to a record low of eight percent Thursday, in an attempt to boost an economy that has continued to falter in the face of various stimulus measures. The 0.5 percent cut was the eighth consecutive reduction from the central bank’s monetary policy board (Comitê de Política Monetária), known as Copom, since August 2011, when the rate stood at 12.5 percent.
Despite a raft of recent stimulus measures, data released last week showed Brazilian industry continuing to perform poorly over recent months, as it reacts to the crisis in Europe and lower global demand for commodity exports. Industrial production shrank in May for the third consecutive month according to data released by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE).