The Ceará economy is no stranger to positive figures and the latest for July and August follow the same pattern. Yet again, the state in Northeast Brazil posts strong statistics for both growth and job creation. In both, Ceará stands out at national level. With a tourist sector booming on the back of the Air France/KLM hub at Fortaleza Airport, 2018 is performing exceptionally well for the Ceará economy.
Strong GDP growth
Figures for the Ceará economy showed the state GDP grew by 2.14% in the 12 months to Q2 this year. This represents 0.74% more than the figure (1.4%) for Brazil. As far as predictions go for 2018, Ceará is forecast to grow considerably ahead of the country as a whole.
Ceará also stands out at regional level, with the state registering GDP growth well ahead of the Northeast region as a whole.
Buoyant job creation
As well as a growing economy, Ceará also has a strong employment market. Latest figures published by statistical agencies point to almost 35,000 new jobs in the state between January and August this year. The figure is the third highest in the country, behind just Paraná and Sao Paolo.
In the year to July, Ceará registered the fifth highest figure for new employment in the country and yet again, stood out at regional level. Jobs created by the Ceará economy were higher than any of the states in both North and Northeast Brazil.
Good year for consumer spending
2018 is also proving to be a good year for consumer spending in Ceará. The combination of steady GDP growth and job creation is encouraging people to spend more. As a result, analysts believe this year will see an increase of 5% in consumer spending throughout the state, which will in turn boost the Ceará economy still further.
Record low interest rates, which permit lower repayments on loans, also play a part in increased spending. The Brazilian Central Bank shows no signs of changing the current 6.5% interest rate since inflation continues to stay well within official targets.
Strong trade surplus
The Brazilian economy is currently registering excellent figures for trade surplus based on buoyant exports, particularly in the agricultural sector. The country had a trade surplus in excess of US$64 billion in 2017 and figures for the first seven months of 2018 show Brazil has already accumulated a surplus of nearly US$38 billion. Analysts believe that this year’s figure will exceed that for 2017.
The country’s current account deficit is also improving on the back of the trade surplus and reserves at the Brazilian Central Bank. In 2017, the deficit stood at -0.5% but this figure is expected to move into positive territory this year and end 2018 at between 0.5% and 1%.
Pecem Port contributions
One of the drivers behind the Ceará economy and by extension, the Brazilian trade surplus, is Pecem Port. Already a major export hub for local produce and steel plaques produced in the port, Pecem has yet more expansion plans on the horizon.
Pecem Port authorities are expected to sign an agreement in October with those from the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The agreement will allow greater reach for exports from Pecem, particularly the oil refinery and open up the port to larger worldwide markets.
(Sources: O Povo, Diario do Nordeste)