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LatinNews Daily - 24 February 2021

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In brief: Business investment plans hit by pandemic in Brazil

* Brazil’s Confederação Nacional da Indústria (CNI), a business lobby, has released a report on investments in the industrial business sector, which shows that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic affected businesses’ capacity to carry out their investment plans. According to the CNI, only 69% of the firms surveyed carried out investments in 2020 (and just 47% completed their investment plans), the lowest figure in four years and below expectations – 84% of businesses had indicated that they planned to carry out investments last year. Uncertainty regarding the domestic market for products, and the high cost of investment due to exchange rate fluctuations were cited as two reasons for this – and both are linked to the effects of the pandemic. According to the CNI, 82% of industrial businesses plan to carry out investments this year, primarily with the aim of improving their production process or increasing their production capacity.