Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Between 1974 and 1980,
Between 1974 and 1980, the average annual rate of growth of real GDP reached 6.9 percent and that of industry, 7.2 percent. However, the current-account deficit increased from US$1.7 billion in 1973 to US$12.8 billion in 1980. The foreign debt rose from US$6.4 billion in 1963 to nearly US$54 billion in 1980. Brazil was able to raise its foreign debt because, at the time, the international financial system was awash in petrodollars and was eagerly offering low-interest loans. HP Pavilion dv6-3034ca CPU Fan By the end of the 1970s, however, the foreign debt had reached high levels. Additionally, the marked increase of international interest rates raised the debt service, forcing the country to borrow more only to meet interest payments. Productive capacity, exports, and the substitution of imports in various sectors expanded and became more diversified. However, the expected impacts on Brazil's current account were not to materialize until the mid-1980s. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan Another feature of the 1974-80 period was an acceleration of inflation. Between 1968 and 1974, the rate of inflation had declined steadily, but afterward the trend was reversed. From 16.2 percent a year in 1973, the growth rate of the general price index increased to 110.2 percent a year by 1980. The effect of the 1974-85 period's industrialization on the balance of trade was significant. Compaq Presario C556CA CPU Fan The balance of trade moved from an average deficit of US$3.4 billion in the 1974-76 period to an average surplus of US$10.7 billion in the 1983-85 period. In 1985 the share of manufactures (processed and semi-processed) of total exports reached 66 percent, and between 1971–75 and 1978-83 the share of basic input imports in total imports declined from 32.3% to 19.2%. SONY Vaio VGN-NR360E CPU Fan The recession and stagnation of the early 1980s had a role in reducing imports. However, import substitution was also important, as demonstrated by the few years of the 1980s that experienced a significant growth in GDP while the trade surplus was maintained. Between 1981 and 1992, the GDP increased at an average annual rate of only 2.9% and per capita income declined 6%. HP Pavilion dv5170us CPU Fan Gross investment, as a proportion of GDP, fell from 21 to 16 percent, in part as a result of the fiscal crisis and the loss of public-sector investment capacity. The decline also reflected growing uncertainties regarding the future of the economy. The 1980s became known as the "lost decade," and its problems spilled over into the 1990s. Despite thestagnation of the 1981-92 period, inflation remained a major problem (see stagflation). SONY Vaio VPC-EE3WFX/WI CPU Fan It stayed in the 100% level until the mid-80's and then grew to more than 1000% a year, reaching a record 5000% in 1993. In 1979 a second oil shock nearly doubled the price of imported oil to Brazil and lowered the terms of trade further. The rise in world interest rates sharply increased Brazil's balance of payments problem and the size of the foreign debt. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan HP 3MLX8TATP20 CPU Fan Nevertheless, the government continued borrowing, mainly to face an increasing debt burden, while it tried vainly to maintain the high-growth strategy. At the beginning of the 1980s, however, the foreign-debt problem became acute, leading to the introduction of a program to generate growing trade surpluses in order to service the foreign debt. The program was achieved by reducing growth and, with it, imports, and by expanding exports. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240F/S CPU Fan As a result, in 1981 real GDP declined by 4.4 percent. The 1982 Mexican debt crisis ended Brazil's access to international financial markets, increasing the pressure for economic adjustment. Some unorthodox economists like Stephen Kanitz attribute the debt crisis not to the high Brazilian level of indebtedness nor to the disorganization of the country's economy. SONY Vaio VPC-EB1Z0E/B CPU Fan They say that the cause of the crisis was rather a minor error in the U.S. government banking regulations which forbids its banks from lending over ten times the amount of their capital, a regulation that, when the inflation eroded their lending limits, forced them to cut the access of underdeveloped countries to international savings. The austerity program imposed by the International Monetary Fund in late 1979 continued until 1984, Compaq Presario CQ60-514NR CPU Fan but substantial trade surpluses were obtained only from 1983 on, largely as a delayed result of the import substitution industrialization programs of the 1970s and the reduction in imports brought about by economic decline. The austerity program enabled Brazil to meet interest payments on the debt, but at the price of economic decline and increasing inflation. Toshiba Satellite X205-S9800 CPU Fan Inflation accelerated as a result of a combination of factors: the exchange-rate devaluations of the austerity program, a growing public deficit, and an increasing indexation of financial balances, wages, and other values for inflation. The first two factors are classical causes of inflation; the last became an important mechanism for propagating hyperinflation and in preventing the usual instruments of inflation control from operating. ASUS G2P CPU Fan By the mid-1980s, domestic debt nearly displaced foreign debt as Brazil's main economic problem. During the high-growth 1970s, a significant portion of foreign borrowing had been by state enterprises, which were the main actors in the import substitution industrialization strategy. Initially, they borrowed to finance their investments. However, toward the end of the decade, with the acute shortage of foreign exchange, Compaq Presario CQ60-430SA CPU Fan the government forced state enterprises to borrow unnecessarily, increasing their indebtedness markedly. Their situation worsened with the sharp rise in international interest rates in the late 1970s, the devaluations of the austerity program, and the decreasing real prices of goods and services provided by the public enterprises stemming from price controls. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan Because the state enterprises were not allowed to go bankrupt, their debt burden was transferred gradually to the government, further increasing the public debt. This, and a growing disorganization of the public sector, transformed the public debt into a major economic problem. By the mid-1980s, the financial burden stemming from the debt was contributing decisively to its rapid expansion. HP Pavilion dv5-1272et CPU Fan During the second half of the 1980s, it became increasingly clear that a large-scale fiscal reform, one that enabled noninflationary financing of the public sector, was needed not only to control inflation but also to restore the public sector's capacity to invest. Both were essential for an economic recovery. However, political obstacles prevented the reform from materializing. Toshiba AB7005HX-SB3 CPU Fan And, because inflation had become the most visible symptom of the public-sector disequilibrium, there were several attempts to bring inflation under control through what came to be known as "heterodox economic shocks". The period saw three such shocks: the Cruzado Plan (1986), the Bresser Plan (1987), and the Summer Plan (1989). The objective of the Cruzado Plan was to eliminate inflation with a dramatic blow. Toshiba Satellite A500-18T CPU Fan Between 1980 and 1985, the rise in the CPI had escalated from 86.3% to 248.5% annually. Early in 1986, the situation became desperate, prodding the implementation of the plan. Its main measures were a general price freeze, a wage readjustment and freeze, readjustment and freeze on rents and mortgage payments, a ban on indexation, and a freeze on the exchange rate. HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx CPU Fan The plan's immediate results were spectacular: the monthly rate of inflation fell close to zero, economic growth surged upward, and the foreign accounts remained under control. However, by the end of 1986 the plan was in trouble. The wage adjustments were too large, increasing aggregate demand excessively and creating inflationary pressures. ASUS EEE PC 1201NL CPU Fan Moreover, the price freeze was maintained for too long, creating distortions and leading to shortages of a growing number of products. The plan could have been rescued if adjustments had been made at crucial moments. Instead, inflation accelerated again, and there was a return of indexation. The country imposed a moratorium on its foreign debt service on 20 February 1987. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D/T CPU Fan The two other stabilization plans amounted to renewed attempts at bringing inflation down from very high levels. It was soon clear that without a thorough reform of the public sector, controlling inflation would be impossible. Both plans introduced a price freeze and eliminated indexation, but there were differences between them, and with the Cruzado Plan. Neither was able to address the public-sector disequilibrium effectively. Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX CPU Fan The objective of the Summer Plan, for instance, was mainly to avoid hyperinflation in an election year. In fact, the public-sector disequilibrium became virtually locked in as a result of the 1988 constitution, which created advantages for various segments of society without indicating how these advantages would be paid for. Moreover, it transferred large portions of the tax revenues from the federal government to state and municipal governments, SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D CPU Fan without requiring them to provide additional public services. With less revenue and more responsibility, the federal accounts experienced growing deficits. In addition, several subsidies were locked into the legislation. These factors and the financial burden of the public debt meant growing problems of public finance.