Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Sistemi Economici

Brasile. È legge il tetto al deficit pubblico.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-12-15.

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«Brazilian senators on Tuesday passed a 20-year public spending ceiling proposed by President Michel Temer to control a ballooning budget deficit, a crucial step in an austerity drive to rescue Brazil’s stalled economy»

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«The Senate approved the cap by a 53-16 margin, though leftist opponents sought to delay the vote as long as possible»

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«Authorities braced for evening protests outside Brazil’s Congress, rallies organized by labor unions and left-wing groups opposed to cutbacks»

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«The unpopular measure limits the growth of federal government spending to the rate of inflation for 20 years, with a presidential review after a decade. It cleared the Senate on a 61-14 vote in the first of two votes on Nov. 29»

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«opposition was strongest among young people, those with higher education and lower-income Brazilians, while the rich tend to support it.»

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Il Brasile sta faticosamente avviandosi verso un risanamento del proprio sistema economico produttivo.

Dopo un picco superiore al 10%, l’inflazione è scesa al 6.9% in meno di un anno, e si stanno evidenziando modesti segni di ripresa.

Ma il colpo è stato davvero brutto. Il Pil è sceso dai 2,613 mld Usd del 2011 ai 1,769 del 2015, ed il pil procapite dai 13,237 agli attuali 8,651 Usd.

Di oggi la legge che pone un tetto massimo al disavanzo statale.

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Il provvedimento odierno introduce un elemento nuovo nel mondo occidentale.

Dopo decenni passati considerando valida la teoria che lo stato debba iniettare liquidità nel sistema, che questa procedura “stimolasse” il sistema economico produttivo, che il disavanzo pubblico fosse un bene irrinunciabile, ora si è sposata la visione opposta. Lo stato dovrebbe chiudere i bilanci in pareggio o, in via fuori la norma, con deficit non superori alla inflazione.

E questo non per buona costumanza, bensì per legge. Un impegno coercitivo, quindi.

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Cerchiamo però di ragionare cercando di trarre un ammaestramento da quanto è successo.

Nel 1970 il Brasile aveva un Pil di 42.33 miliardi Usd., cui corrispondeva un pil procapite di 440.64 Usd.

Cinquanta anni or sono il Brasile era un paese misero, con 441 dollari all’anno c’era a stento quanto per sopravvivere, anche tenendo conto del basso costo della vita.

Sempre in cinquanta anni il pil procapite è salito a 8,651 Usd, ossia è salito di venti volte circa. Lo stesso parametro è salito negli Stati Uniti di circa quindici volte ed in Italia di circa dodici volte. La Cina è passata da un pil pro capite di 130.14 Usd nel 1962 agli attuali 6,416.18, ossia è salito 49 volte.

Alcuni fanno notare che sarebbe più facile innalzare pil di infimo livello piuttosto che pil di buon livello. È un’affermazione che ha un contenuto di verità, ma che non dovrebbe essere assolutizzata. Se assolutizzata risulterebbe essere fallace.

Infatti gli Stati Uniti sono aumentati di un fattore 15 mentre l’Italia di un fattore 12: una gran bella differenza.

Similmente, mentre il Brasile è cresciuto di un fattore 20, la  Cina è cresciuta di un fattore 49.

È evidente come abbiano influito sulle crescite fattori di gestione politica ed economica dei singoli stati: in altri termini, la crescita della ricchezza di una nazione non è cosa automatica.

Ma sembrerebbe lecito domandarsi se queste crescite siano state favorite dalla stampa di moneta ovvero questa procedura non abbia ridotto la portata del fenomeno.

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Cerchiamo adesso di generalizzare il ragionamento.

È fatto assodato che a periodi di espansione seguano periodi di ridimensionamento, di riassestamento dei sistemi economici. Crescite infinite e per tempi infiniti sono materia di teorie utopiche. Questo è il supporto logico dei cicli economici.

La prima grande conclusione che possiamo trarne è che non ci si dovrebbe stupire più di tanto se dopo un cinquantennio di crescita quasi ininterrotta il sistema economico mondiale sia entrato in crisi evidenziando una severa battuta di arresto.

La seconda grande conclusione che possiamo trarne è che gli stati che hanno saputo resistere alla tentazione di cercare di ridistribuire ricchezze e reddito hanno avuto crescite migliori, che hanno così innalzato in modo ben più efficace il livello medio di ogni tentativo centralizzato. Il fatto che la Cina sia cresciuta di un fattore 49 mentre l’Italia sia cresciuta di un fattore 12 dovrebbe ben insegnare qualcosa.

La terza grande conclusione che possiamo trarne è che un aumento rapido della ricchezza nazionale comporta quasi inevitabilmente un fiorire di abusi. Taluni bramano arricchirsi più velocemente e maggiormente di altri: fenomeno che oggi è denominato “corruzione“, ma che in realtà è sempre esistito e che sempre esisterà. È in altri termini un attrito del sistema: giusto e corretto cercare di ridurlo, ma l’idea di eliminarlo sarebbe pura utopia. Notiamo come il termine “corruzione” sia stato introdotto in politica in epoca giacobina.

La quarta grande conclusione che possiamo trarne è che la fretta è pessima consigliera. Nelle fasi di sviluppo taluni riescono ad arricchirsi prima e meglio di altri, e questo fatto genera, invece che ammirazione e stimolo, invidia. E questo pessimo sentimento conduce spesso a grossolane tensioni sociali che alla fine si ritorcono contro chi lo nutre. Falcidiare i ricchi ed ostacolare la formazione agglutinata di ricchezza non genera risorse tali da arricchire i meno abbienti e blocca semplicemente la crescita.

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In conclusione, i fatti del Brasile ci pongono un quesito non più a lungo eludibile:

È utile o meno che lo stato intervenga sui sistemi economici?


Bbc. 2016-12-14. Brazil: Clashes as Senate approves 20-year austerity plan

The Brazilian Senate has approved a controversial amendment to the constitution capping public spending for the next 20 years.

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The approval of the austerity measure is an important victory for President Michel Temer.

He took office earlier this year promising to lead the country out of its worst recession in many decades.

Protests against the measure turned violent in the capital Brasilia and at least a dozen states in the country.

The opposition says the measures will mainly hit areas such as health and education, which are already underfunded.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets during the Senate session to protest against the austerity plan.

After the vote, many demonstrations descended into violence.

In Brasilia, masked protesters set fire to a bus and marched on the local offices of Globo TV, which they say is biased towards Mr Temer’s government. But the marchers were blocked by riot police.

In Sao Paulo, the headquarters of the state’s conservative Industrial Federation (Fiesp) was attacked.

To pass the constitutional amendment, the government needed the votes of 49 senators – three-fifths of the Senate.

The measure was approved by a narrower margin than the government expected, passing by 53 to 19 votes.

“We have won. That was the main thing: to deliver the product in the middle of a storm,” said government leader in the Senate Romero Juca.

The project, known in Brazil as PEC 55, freezes expenditure in the executive, judiciary and legislative branches of power, allowing them to grow only by the rate of inflation in the previous year.

The government argues it is necessary to boost growth and investments, and contain the country’s growing public deficit.

But critics say the poorest in society will be harmed and that setting a spending cap for two decades in advance is unrealistic, says the BBC’s Julia Carneiro in Rio de Janeiro.

The measure takes effect on Thursday.


Reuters. 2016-12-14. Brazil Senate passes spending cap in win for Temer

Brazilian senators on Tuesday passed a 20-year public spending ceiling proposed by President Michel Temer to control a ballooning budget deficit, a crucial step in an austerity drive to rescue Brazil’s stalled economy.

Approval of the centerpiece of his fiscal plan handed a welcome victory to Temer’s scandal-plagued government, which is threatened by corruption accusations and citizens’ deep frustration with economic malaise.

The Senate approved the cap by a 53-16 margin, though leftist opponents sought to delay the vote as long as possible.

Temer said the move to limit spending by constitutional amendment was unprecedented and will be followed by an equally unpopular reform of Brazil’s generous pension system.

“You need courage to govern and we have courage,” he said.

Senators must still vote on some details of the bill, such as requests to exempt education and health spending from the cap, which are expected to be rejected by lawmakers.

Authorities braced for evening protests outside Brazil’s Congress, rallies organized by labor unions and left-wing groups opposed to cutbacks. They say cuts will undermine education and health services and will hurt Brazil’s poor.

Police frisked young men and women as they arrived at Brasilia’s ministry-lined esplanade and seized pen knives, slings and marbles used by protesters to unbalance police horses.

The unpopular measure limits the growth of federal government spending to the rate of inflation for 20 years, with a presidential review after a decade. It cleared the Senate on a 61-14 vote in the first of two votes on Nov. 29.

Temer’s economic team, headed by Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles, says the spending cap is vital to putting overdrawn government accounts in order and recovering business confidence and the investment grade credit rating Brazil lost last year.

A Datafolha poll on Tuesday showed that 60 percent of Brazilians are against the cap. The survey, published by the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, said opposition was strongest among young people, those with higher education and lower-income Brazilians, while the rich tend to support it.

Temer’s government has already sent Congress a proposal to reform Brazil’s costly pension system, which some economists say is needed to restore fiscal balance. They say the spending cap alone will not fix it.

Pension reform is expected to face fierce opposition next year as unemployment rises and the country’s worst slump since the 1930s threatens to stretch into a third year.


Focus Economics. 2016-12-14. Brazil Economic growth.

The economy should exit recession next year, after falling 3.4% in 2016. However, the pace of recovery is likely to be meagre amid austerity measures and modest external conditions. Analysts see GDP growth at 0.8% in 2017, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast.


Focus Economics. 2016-12-14. Brazil: Inflation falls to near two-year low in November

Brazilian consumer prices in November increased 0.18% over the previous month, which was below October’s 0.26% rise and undershot the 0.27% figure analysts expected. The rise in consumer prices was driven by higher prices for housing, clothing, transport and healthcare, while the price of food and drink and household equipment fell compared to the prior month.

Inflation dropped in October to a near two-year low of 7.0%, below September’s 7.9%. Inflation has fallen notably in 2016, leading the Central Bank to cut the SELIC interest rate twice this year to support an economic recovery. Despite the fall, inflation still remains above the Central Bank’s target band of 2.5%-6.5%.

Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast see inflation closing 2016 at 6.9%, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2017, the panel expects inflation of 5.0%, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate.


Focus Economics. 2016-12-14. Contraction in GDP eases in Q3

The deep recession plaguing Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, eased in the third quarter, although dynamics remained feeble. GDP fell 2.9% over the same quarter of the previous year in Q3, which was above Q2’s 3.6% fall and marked the best reading in over one year. The result was slightly worse than the Consensus Forecast had projected. Despite the improvement, steep contractions were recorded in almost all components of GDP as activity remains depressed by high unemployment, low business and consumer confidence, and still low commodity prices.

A broad-based improvement was seen in the domestic side of the economy, supporting the headline figure. Private consumption fell 3.4% after contracting 4.8% in Q2, the smallest contraction in over one year. Easing inflation is reducing the squeeze on household income, but high unemployment continues to hurt consumers. Fixed investment fell 8.4% in Q3, a less pronounced fall than Q2’s 8.6% drop. Business confidence has picked up from record lows in recent months but the high-interest-rate environment and weak credit growth are hurting investment. Government consumption fell 0.8% in Q3, a more pronounced drop than the 0.5% fall in Q2.

Taking a look at the external side of the economy, growth in exports of goods and services slowed notably from Q2’s 4.0% to a meagre 0.2% in Q3, reflecting the adverse impact of sluggish global trade and an appreciation in the real. Meanwhile, the stronger real also drove the contraction in imports to abate, declining 6.8% in Q3 (Q2: -10.4% year-on-year). Subdued demand has been dragging on imports in recent quarters, but an increase in demand related to the Summer Olympics and improving investment likely caused the decline in imports to be much less than in the previous quarter.
On a quarterly basis, the economy contracted 0.8%, which was a deterioration from the 0.4% drop recorded in Q2.

Brazil’s outlook is grim. The economy is expected to record another deep contraction this year. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to contract 3.3% in 2016, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2017, the panel sees the economy growing 1.0%, which is unchanged from last month’s projection.

 

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