Brazil is in free fall.
Data released on Monday showed that economic activity in the world’s 7th largest economy fell 8% this January from a year before. That makes it the 11th month in a row that activity has fallen.
This is going to be a difficult problem to solve, since Brazil’s government is a complete mess right now.
Millions of Brazilians took to the streets over the weekend, peacefully protesting corruption that has reached the highest levels of the country’s government. It all stems from a 2014 corruption sting called Operation Car Wash, that showed the ruling party was engaged in widespread corruption at Petrobras, the country’s massive quasi-state oil company.
Last week, beloved former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was taken into custody and questioned about ill-gotten gains connected to the scandal. Over the weekend, protestors called for Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff, to resign. She also faces impeachment proceedings in the country’s legislature.
Analysts expect Brazil’s economy to contract by 3.5% in 2016, but the estimates keep rolling in, and they keep going lower.
Meanwhile, the real, Brazil’s currency, has been a whipsaw. After climbing to a seven year high, it fell 0.9% against the US dollar on Monday, mirroring oil and iron ore prices, two huge exports for the country.
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