No success stories available!

Sadia is one of the world’s leading producers of chilled and frozen foods. Established in Brazil in 194...
Cyrela Brazil Realty is the largest residential real estate developer in Brazil. Considered one of the m...
Today, Banco do Brasil is the largest financial institution in the Country with 24.4 million clients and ...
CPFL Energia is a holding company in Brazilian electricity sector, operating through its subsidiaries in ...
Copersucar S.A. is the largest Brazilian sugar, ethanol and bioenergy company and a significant player in...

Anxiety Grows Among Brazil Businessmen Over Delayed Economic Rebound

Brazilian businessmen that began the year with high hopes the economy would finally rebound amid optimism with President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration are growing increasingly impatient at just how slow things are going.

In private talks at an event last week, a handful of executives from some of the country’s largest companies expressed disappointment at the pace of the economic recovery, worry about the persistently high unemployment rate and, most of all, frustration about the progress being made on the economic agenda. They’re still optimistic the administration’s proposed pension reform will be approved in Congress, but with less savings and potentially later in the year than previously expected.

Bolsonaro’s first 100 days in office have been anything but smooth, marked by infighting, communication bungles and a heavy use of Twitter both for official announcements and rallying his voter base. The government’s failure to forge a working majority in Congress and frequent sidetracking into controversial topics has slowed progress of plans to overhaul the pension system. The issues have led traders to pare back on some of their optimistic bets, and kept foreign investors mostly on the sidelines.

At the event last week, some 450 executives and officials gathered in Campos do Jordao, a Swiss-inspired town about 180 kilometers (112 miles) northeast of Sao Paulo, to talk about the outlook for Latin America’s largest economy and hear from some government heavy-hitters, including Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. Concerns about the slow pace of the recovery were prevalent in conversations -- and already show up in business confidence, which last month fell to the lowest level since October, according to a survey from Fundacao Getulio Vargas.

While most of the businessmen still decline to be named openly discussing politics, some are speaking out -- mostly in defense of the government’s agenda, like banker Andre Esteves did, and especially of the pension reform seen as key in fixing the country’s accounts. But some are also calling out what they see as missteps.

“What keeps us up at night is this belligerent group in the government that seems to not have switched from campaign mode to governing mode,” retail magnate Flavio Rocha, who mulled a presidential run himself, said during the event. “That’s the biggest threat to the reform.”

The disappointing pace of the economy and still-cloudy outlook has some companies that depend on the domestic economy keeping their planned investments in check. Retail giants including Magazine Luiza SA and Carrefour (PA:CARR) Brasil are either leaving their forecast investments on the same level as 2018 or expecting only slight increases.