Business bets on Brazil economic rally

Financial TimesWhen Hanno Kirner, executive director of strategy at Jaguar Land Rover, visited São Paulo for the city’s recent motor show, he brushed aside concerns about the Brazilian economy.

Even though Latin America’s biggest country is suffering from its worst recession in more than a century, leading to a 20 per cent fall in car sales across the industry last year, the luxury carmaker is ramping up a new £240m factory it opened in Rio de Janeiro state last year.

“[Brazil] is a strong economy and once it shakes off its troubles it will go back to having an economic rally again,” Mr Kirner said. “It has got resources, it has got a young dynamic population. It has got everything in the long term.”

Jaguar Land Rover is not alone. Even as Brazil’s economy contracted for the second year running in 2016, foreign direct investment in December hit $15.4bn, a record high for that month, the central bank said. That brought total foreign direct investment for the year to $78.9bn, up 6 per cent on 2015.

This comes in spite of a dismal economic performance. A survey of economists by the central bank at the end of 2016 forecast the economy to have contracted by 3.49 per cent during the year. …

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