Brazil hopes $11.2bn stimulus spurs economy

Parvez Jabri July 25, 2019

BRASÍLIA: Brazil hopes to inject $11.2 billion into its slowing economy after announcing Wednesday a plan to put some extra cash in the pockets of workers.

Those eligible will be allowed to withdraw up to 500 reais ($133) from a workers’ severance fund that employers are required to pay into.

Normally, employees can only touch the money if they lose their job, buy a home or retire.

Announcing the “emergency” measure, President Jair Bolsonaro said Latin America’s biggest economy was “not doing well” and he hoped the extra money would provide some relief to workers.

Brazil is teetering on the edge of recession as it struggles to recover from the devastating 2015-2016 crisis that saw the economy shrink nearly seven percent.

The economy contracted 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and economists expect growth of less than one percent for the full year.

Around 13 million people are unemployed and record numbers are giving up looking for work.

It is the second time in as many years that Brazil has invited workers to take money out of the reserve, known as FGTS.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2019

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