ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Brazil country-specific exchange traded fund investors may not see a light at the end of this tunnel any time soon as the economy is on track for its worst recession in almost a century.

The iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ), the largest ETF that follows Brazilian equities, has declined 9.4% over the past week and plunged 37.3% year-to-date.

Even after the retreat, Brazilian stocks may have further to fall as the economic contract worsens.

“What started as a recession driven by the adjustment needs of an economy that accumulated large macro imbalances is now mutating into an outright economic depression given the deep contraction of domestic demand,” Alberto Ramos, chief Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said, according to Bloomberg.

Brazil’s gross domestic product declined a record 4.5% year-over-year in the third quarter, or on pace for its worst recession since the 1930s, reports Joe Leahy for the Financial Times.

Brazil’s economy shrunk 1.7% in the three months ended September against a revised second quarter, worse than analysts’ expectations.

“It seems likely that GDP will fall by something like 3.5 per cent this year [rather than the 2.5 per cent we had expected],” Capital Economics said.

A plethora of negative factors are dragging on the Brazilian economy. Unemployment rose to 7.9% in September from 4.7% in October last year. Inflation has jumped over 10% for the first time since 2002. The budget deficit has widened to 9.5% of GDP. Additionally, lower commodity prices, diminishing consumer credit boom and a corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro have all weighed on the economy. [Corruption Probe Plagues Brazil ETF]

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