Economy & Energy
Year XIV-No 82
June - September
ISSN 1518-2932


No 82 Em Português





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The ten largest economies and nuclear energy

Initiatives for the use of biomass in Ligno Cellulosic Feedstock Biorefineries

The present American flu









The present American flu

There is a general belief that American crises have immediate and more radical results in our economy. It is the story that an American cold represents here a flu or pneumonia. In this period of American cold it is convenient to analyze the veracity of this affirmation because the simple fact of believing in it already causes negative effects on our economy.

Celso Furtado, in opposition to the current belief, noted that crises in the American economy had repercussions here in the short term but in general they turned out to be beneficial to the Brazilian economy in the medium term. He had shown in his book “O Capitalismo Global” (Global Capitalism) that the 1929/1930 American crisis has caused here in 1932 a notable internal surge based on the national market.

The tentative of finding a correlation between the American growth rate and the Brazilian one in the 1930 to 2010 period does not produce convincing results. The situation does not change if one introduces a delay of one or two years in the Brazilian GDP variation relative to the American one.

Figure 1: The correlation between the Brazilian growth and the American one seems to have no significance in the 1930/2010 period.

Data Elaborated by e&e

When the different periods of high and low growth along the years are examined one finds some occasions when the USA and Brazil are in the same phase of the cycle but in many occasions the two countries have opposite signs (Figure 2). In a preliminary analysis one can say that the periods when they were in the inverse phase are more numerous than those of the same phase. 

Figure 2: GDP variation in Brazil and in the USA, annual and moving average of three years: the periods when the economies seemed to be in phase are blue (variations in the same sense) and the period of inverse phase (variations in the opposite direction).Elaboration by e&e

It can be verified that in the period mentioned by Celso Furtado the economy of the two countries seem to be in the same phase. However, Brazil resumed its growth before the USA did it, as Celso Furtado said, and furthermore he was referring to qualitative changes, more development than growth, which resulted when more attention was given to internal consumption.

In the last thirty three years the American cold theory was true in the 1980s and 1990s crises (simultaneous and larger repercussions in our economy) and in the resuming in the middle of the 1980s. It should be remembered that these crises included interest rates growth and the Mexican bankruptcy (1982) and hyperinflation in countries like Argentina that were closer to our reality. In the last fifteen years we were in the inverse phase relative to the USA: in 1998 they were well and Brazil, bad. After that, their growth was decreasing while the Brazilian economy had increasing growth rates.

In Figure 3 it is shown the linear correlation regarding the GDP variation shown in Figure 2 and the results confirm the qualitative evaluation. That is, the in phase periods show a positive correlation between the American and Brazilian growths and in the periods shown in yellow, the correlation is negative.

Figure 3: Behavior of the GDP growth in the USA (vertical axis) and in Brazil (horizontal axis) in the periods shown in the previous figure.

These changes in correlation intensity and sense indicate much more complex phenomena that connected the Brazilian and American growths. This relationship is not direct and if it exists it should be analyzed period-wise. One can conclude that the “cold theory” does not explain the past even when were more dependent on the USA.

Recently, due to the American financial crisis in 2008, there was a brutal cut down concerning offer growth, in a preventive maneuver of the productive sector. In the two years after the crisis, according to IBGE’s[1] Quarterly National Accounts, demand has grown 4.5% annually. This growth was higher than the average value of the Lula Administration (4.0%). To follow this demand in 2009, the GDP grew 7.5% and part of the demand was supplied by imports. That is, the GDP drop in 2009 was due, in our opinion, to the exaggerated offer reduction because of a mistaken evaluation of the crisis effect on the Brazilian economy. The first ripple is gone.

What about now (08/08/2011)? Will we be in phase with them?

    1 –Data from


Graphic Edition/Edição Gráfica:
Editoração Eletrônic

Monday, 28 November 2011

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