Brazil Exchange Rate January 2019


Brazil: Real surges on reform optimism

January 11, 2019

The Brazilian real strengthened notably at the start of 2019, bolstered by market optimism over the new government and reform prospects. On 11 January, the real ended the day at 3.71 per USD, 4.9% stronger than its value the same day in December. In addition, the real was up a notable 15.4% per USD from the same day last year. The real had a tumultuous second half of 2018, with large swings in value seen largely due to the noisy election cycle.

Market optimism over Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency has been the driving force behind the real’s recent strengthening, as hopes that reforms to tackle the country’s bloated fiscal deficit and the fiscally unsustainable pension system could finally materialize. Economic policy in Brazil ground to a near standstill over most of the past year due to the election cycle.

Bolsonaro campaigned on a market-friendly platform and his economic team is headed by the liberal and reform-oriented Paulo Guedes as economy minister, which has lit hope for bold measures to be implemented. That said, the new government needs to move quickly to keep up optimism and there is a risk that the administration does not live up to market expectations. Its ability to pass legislation through Brazil’s divided and fractured Congress is untested and Bolsonaro remains a controversial figure, which could hamper his ability to gel with Brazil’s traditional political parties. On top of this, some conflicting messages over upcoming policy have emerged from the government in recent days, generating uncertainty over the strength of reforms.

Looking ahead, the critical pension reform will be in the spotlight, which could be an upside or downside risk on market sentiment and consequently, the real. Overall, most of our panelists see the real weakening somewhat in the coming quarters, although remaining stronger than the lows seen in the run-up to the October election.

Our panel sees the real ending 2019 at 3.79 per USD and 2020 at 3.80 per USD.

Author: Angela Bouzanis, Senior Economist

Sample Report

Looking for forecasts related to Exchange Rate in Brazil? Download a sample report now.


Brazil Economic News

  • Brazil: Economic activity steady in December

    February 15, 2019

    In December, economic activity increased 0.2% in seasonally-adjusted month-on-month terms, according to the Central Bank’s monthly indicator for economic activity (IBC-Br, Indice de Atividade Economica do Banco Central).

    Read more

  • Brazil: Retail sales record worst result in nearly two years in December

    February 13, 2019

    Retail sales (excluding cars and construction) fell 2.2% from the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms in December, notably contrasting November’s revised 3.1% expansion (previously reported: +2.9% month-on-month) and the largest drop since January 2016. Declines were recorded in five of the eight categories of the index, with notably contractions in sales of other articles for personal and domestic use, and furniture and household appliances. On an annual basis, retail sales rose 0.6% in December, notably below November’s 4.5% expansion.

    Read more

  • Brazil: Inflation inches up in January

    February 8, 2019

    Consumer prices rose 0.32% in January over the previous month, accelerating from December’s 0.15% increase.

    Read more

  • Brazil: Central Bank holds SELIC rate at record-low

    February 6, 2019

    At its 5–6 February meeting, the Central Bank of Brazil’s Monetary Policy Committee (Comité de Política Monetária, COPOM) unanimously decided to keep the benchmark SELIC interest rate at its record low of 6.50%, where it has rested since the Central Bank paused its long and aggressive easing cycle in March.

    Read more

  • Brazil: Manufacturing PMI edges up in January

    February 4, 2019

    Conditions in Brazil’s manufacturing sector improved at the start of 2019.

    Read more

More news

Search form