Brazil's middle class which now numbers 104 million equivalent to 53% of total population (38% ten years ago), is likely to move 1 trillion Reais this year (approx a trillion dollars), government estimates show.
If Brazil's middle class were the population of a single country, it would rank 18th on a ranking of the top 20 consumer countries in the world - the consumption G20, according to World Bank data.
When considering the countries with the biggest populations, Brazil ranks fifth - trailing China (the first), India, the US and Indonesia.
If Brazil's middle class formed a country, it would be the 12th largest, behind Mexico, says Minister Moreira Franco, of the Brazilian Presidency Department of Strategic Affairs.
After nearly a year of study, the Department of Strategic Affairs' technical commission established criteria to classify the population according to its income bracket.
Families that earn between R 291 and R 1.019 per capita a month are part of the middle class. The US dollar trades at the equivalent of two Reais.
The middle class was divided into three subgroups: low-middle class (per capita income between R 291 and R 441), middle-middle class (from R 441 to R 641 per person) and upper-middle class (from R 641 to R 1.019). In US dollars this represents monthly per capita income of between 143 and 502 and with a low probability of sinking back into poverty in the near future.
After technicians considered projections based on national figures released by the IBGE, they estimated that Brazil's middle class is likely to move R 1 trillion this year.
Most of the income of Brazil's middle class (46.1%) is in the southeast region. Data of the Data Popular institute, which participated in the project, show that the Northeast represents 22.2%. The South has 16.45%, the Mid-West 8.4% and the North, 6.9%.
Renato Meirelles, director and partner of Data Popular, highlights that 71% of Brazil's middle class said they don't think paying instalments is a big problem.
The interpretation is ambiguous. ”People may not have the financial knowledge to deal with credit. Or, as they have part-time jobs, and they consider them in their budgets, they know they'll get by”.