With its high murder rate and huge armed forces, Brazil has long been in the cross-hairs of foreign weapons makers. Now they have a powerful champion: pro-gun President Jair Bolsonaro. The right-wing former army captain, who relaxed gun ownership laws soon after taking power in January, has raised hopes among foreign firms that his next move will be easing investment restrictions on Brazil's 200 billion reais (US$55 billion) defense sector.
Car and light truck sales in Brazil went up 13.6% in 2018 from the previous year, cementing the industry’s gradual recovery from a deep recession. Brazil was one of the world’s five biggest auto markets until a recent downturn and, despite last year’s growth, numbers remain lower than at their peak in 2012.
Brazil's financial institutions on Monday reduced the 2018 economic growth forecast to 1.5%, half the initial estimate issued at the beginning of the year, according to the Central Bank weekly survey. The Focus Bulletin, which interviews analysts and economists from Brazil's financial market every Monday, the country's growth estimate was actually reduced from the previous week's 1.53%.