Brazil & Southern Cone - June 2009 (ISSN 1741-4431)


In the first quarter of 2009, GDP contracted 2.1%, year-on-year and the prospects for the second quarter do not look much brighter. Industrial output in April fell 11.1% year-on-year. Some of this fall was due to the later Easter this year, but the result was much worse than independent economists expected and weaker than the year-on-year fall in March which was 7.1%, according to the Instituto Nacional Estadí­sticas (INE). The April figure was the seventh consecutive month of year-on-year falls in industrial output.
The official national unemployment figure for the February-April period was 9.8%. This was 2.2 percentage points higher than 12 months earlier and the highest rate in five years. It was 0.6 of a percentage point up on the previous three months, ending in March.
The most encouraging statistic for the government was the 2% year-on-year pick up in electricity demand in April. Despite this, demand for the first four months of the year was still down 0.9% on the same period of 2008.   Nevertheless, April was the second consecutive month in which electricity demand was up, year-on-year.

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