It’s full steam ahead for the economy in the state of Ceará in northeast Brazil. Figures just published for its GDP performance for last year show Ceará is growing fast and considerably ahead of the rest of Brazil.
Ceará’s GDP rate in 2014 was 4.36 per cent, a figure that towers over the Brazilian 0.1 per cent. Figures for the final quarter last year in Ceará came in at 2.7 per cent, again well ahead of Brazil where growth reached just 0.2 per cent. Ceará is no stranger to outperforming the Brazilian economy – 2014 ranks as the seventh consecutive year for faster than national growth.
Agriculture stands out as the star performer in the Ceará economy growing by 65.07 per cent in 2014. However, the services sector takes the lion’s share of the economy, driving 73.8 per cent of it and growing by 3.59 per cent last year. The sharp increase in tourism figures and spending are mostly responsible for growth within services, although officials also highlight the beneficial effects of indirect tourism.
“Ceará experienced extraordinarily strong growth last year,” said Flavio Ataliba, Director of IPECE (the regional economic research institute), responsible for compiling the GDP data. He pinpointed new investment in the Ceará Events Centre and Aquarium, both at Fortaleza, as some of the future drivers of economic growth in the state.
Ceará attracts important sums of investment. In 2014, these totalled R$16.8 billion, the fourth highest in the country behind just Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. “Ceará has huge capacity to raise funds and attract international credit,” Ataliba said.
Despite Ceará’s high economic growth, this is a small state within Brazil. Its population counts for just 4.5 per cent of the country’s total and its GDP a mere 2 per cent. Ceará government has set itself the target of matching GDP share to population and based on 2014’s figures, officials are confident this will be feasible.
More of the same in 2015
2015 has got off to a bullish start in Ceará. Pecem Port, one of the main engines behind the state’s economy, continues to break records. Its quarterly activity grew by 25 per cent year-on-year between January and March. And business is booming with 573 new small and medium enterprises formed in Ceará in the first three months of this year creating over 1,800 new jobs.
Source: IPECE (Ceará Regional Economic Research Institute)