A series of high-profile resignations from Brazil’s economic team have left Economy Minister Paulo Guedes shaken but committed to keep pushing for reforms in the government. The losses are also the most visible sign yet that Guedes’ ambitious economic agenda is suffering a downgrade in size and scope, although his austerity drive received a crucial backing from President Jair Bolsonaro and congressional leaders.
Brazil’s central bank on Thursday raised its 2020 gross domestic product growth forecast to 2.2% in its quarterly inflation report from 1.8% previously but cautioned it was conditional on continued progress on economic reforms.
Brazil’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 6.50% on Wednesday, as expected, holding back from signalling looser policy because of doubts on economic reforms. The scenario outlined by policymakers was one of anaemic economic growth and high levels of economic slack putting downward pressure on inflation at home, plus the prospect of interest rates coming down in major developed economies.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed that his country will not develop at the expense of other nations, in a speech marking 40 years since China introduced major economic reforms. However, he also said that the global superpower would not be told what to do by anyone.
European Commission strongly criticised international credit ratings agencies following the downgrade of Portugal by Moody's. The Commission said the timing of the downgrade was questionable and raised the issue of the appropriateness of behaviour of the agencies in general.
The number of Cubans working in the private sector continues to rise and now includes over 300,000 as a result of President Raul Castro government’s economic reforms that have been implemented since last October.