After the failed attempts at stimulating growth, Brazil’s economy expanded at below expectations, dragging down related country-specific exchange traded funds.
The iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWZ) plunged 3.6% Wednesday. The fund is down 2.9% year-to-date. The fund is trading below its 50- and 200-day moving averages.
Brazil’s GDP grew 1.9% in the first quarter year-over-year, compared to economists’ projections for a 2.38% expansion, reports Luciana Magalhaes for the Wall Street Journal. The economy expanded 0.6% in the first quarter over the fourth quarter.
“The weak Brazilian GDP and lower growth expectations in China are weighting on the Brazilian stocks,” Guido Chagas, a fund manager at Brazil’s money management firm Humaita Investimentos, said in the article. “To me, what is particularly worrisome is that families consumption didn’t go up in the first quarter in Brazil.”
Brazil’s government has increased government expenditure and enacted policies to stimulate consumption, which have kept unemployment rates low compared to other developed countries. [Stimulus Could Boost Brazil ETFs]
However, the stimulus measures failed to boost manufacturing, and consumers were scared off by rising inflation.