Nov 1st 2011 by The Economist online
Over the last two decades, thanks largely to government policy, the poverty rate in Brazil has halved. With this, income inequality (measured by the Gini coefficient) has also fallen sharply, declining on average by 1.2% a year. Brazil’s economy is forecast to grow by 3.6% this year. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister company of The Economist, this year Brazil will overtake Britain to become the sixth largest economy in the world. GDP per person, at around $11,000 (or 19,000 reais) has been growing at an average annual rate of 1.7% since 1990; closing the gap with high-income countries. And income growth is faster among the poorest (comparable to China’s GDP per person growth rates). Consequently by 2015 Brazil could reach its Millennium Development Goal of poverty reduction, some ten years early. But further action is needed; 8.5% of Brazil’s population still live on less than 70 reais per month, equivalent to $1.50 a day.