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LatinNews Daily - 17 February 2021

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In brief: Household debt increases during pandemic in Brazil

* Brazil’s central bank (BCB) has released figures which show that household debt has increased in Brazil in the context of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. According to the BCB’s figures, households spent on average 51% of their income on bank debt in November 2020, the highest such figure since records began in 2005. This compares with 49.81% in October 2020, and 45.06% in November 2019. A separate study by the Confederação Nacional do Comércio de Bens, Serviços e Turismo (CNC), a private sector lobby group, based on slightly different data, found that household debt reached an average 66.5% in 2020, a 2.8 percentage point increase on 2019 levels of debt. The CNC study also found that around a quarter (25.5%) of households defaulted on debt payments last year, up 1.5 percentage points on 2019.