Industrial output in Brazil plummeted in May at the sharpest pace in a decade, highlighting the deep impact of a nationwide truckers' strike in the final weeks of that month. Production fell 10.9% from April, government statistics agency IBGE said on Wednesday, the largest decline since December 2008.
Brazil’s central bank kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, as expected, refraining from hiking even after a sharp currency slide as policymakers highlighted the unclear impact of a nationwide protest by truckers in late May.
Brazil's Minister of Institutional Security Sergio Etchegoyen on Tuesday rejected calls to deploy military troops to break up protracted nationwide protests against fuel price hikes. Etchegoyen, a general appointed by President Michel Temer, said such a heavy-handed response was outdated.
One of the main unions behind a crippling truckers' strike in Latin America's largest nation on Tuesday called on its members to return to work, warning that failing to do so would erode hard-won gains.
A nationwide protest by Brazilian truckers was slow to unwind on Monday, even after the week-long demonstrations against diesel price hikes got the government to cave to their demands, causing stocks and the currency to slide.
A truckers protest over diesel prices that has crippled key sectors of Latin America's biggest economy dragged into Friday night, putting drivers in a standoff with Brazilian President Michel Temer who authorized military force to clear highways. The protest will stretch into its sixth day on Saturday.