By Christine Clough, PMP, November 13, 2014
A Recent GFI Study & Conference Focused on Brazil’s Illicit Financial Flows, which Cost the Latin American Country US$401.6 Billion from 1960-2012
A pair of articles by The Economist last week highlight the economic challenges that Brazil’s recently re-elected president, Dilma Rouseff, will face in her second term leading Latin America’s largest economy. The federal budget shortfall has grown to 4.9% of GDP. Tax increases could further undermine growth, and cuts to benefits programs for Brazilians might also decrease spending and slow the economy, in addition to weakening progress on addressing the country’s economic inequality and poverty rates.
Many Brazilians already complain about the high tax rates and poor public services. According to a Christian Science Monitor article, which cites the Brazilian Institute of Tax Planning:
“the average person works 150 days a year to pay taxes, compared with 102 days in the [United States]. Among the 30 countries with the highest tax burdens, Brazil ranks last in terms of the quality of services citizens receive in exchange for high taxes.”
Businesses and individuals in Brazil are also dealing with high inflation, slow growth, a weakening currency, and a growing current-account gap.