Statistics for the Ceará economy released last week show this state in northeast Brazil flying high above the rest of Brazil. The Ceará economic figures are particularly strong in the tourism sector where Ceará continues to make its mark as one of the top destinations for a holiday in Brazil.
According to figures published by the state Institute for Economic Research (IPECE in Brazilian), the Ceará economy registered a year-on-year growth of 1.05 per cent from January to March this year. This figure lies well ahead of Brazil as a whole and Ceará ranked as the Brazilian state with the highest GDP increase in the quarter.
The increase in Ceará is 2.65 per cent higher than the national rate – GDP in Brazil contracted by 1.6 per cent in the first three months. In terms of growth over the last four quarters, Ceará stands out yet again within Brazil with a 3.10 per cent rise. Over the same period GDP fell nationally by 0.9 per cent.
Ceará economy highlight in Brazil
These figures are particularly impressive at a time when Brazil generally is facing tough economic conditions. The GDP nation rate has been contracting and the country is currently undergoing extensive restructuring of the economy. GDP figures for Ceará stand out on the national map and highlight the stable economic growth in this part of northeast Brazil, set to continue as IPECE predict 2 per cent GDP growth for Ceará this year.
Besides Ceará, only one other state in Brazil registered positive growth – Pernambuco with just 0.6 per cent – while all the others continued in the negative. GDP plunges were seen in some states such as Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo that registered negative figures of 4.9 and 3.3 per cent respectively.
Twin pillars of tourism and agriculture
Two pillars of the economy were responsible for the strong economic growth in Ceará during the first quarter of this year: agriculture and tourism. The increase in agricultural production was particularly notable experiencing a hike of 20.31 per cent, five times higher than the national rate. State officials attributed this massive rise to an increase of production in the bovine and poultry sectors.
Tourism in Ceará also registered strong growth from January to March with increases in both the transport and hospitality sectors. Tourism-related transport went up by 0.93 per cent and the hospitality industry by 3.03 per cent.
Referring to the buoyant Ceará economic figures, Flavio Ataliba, director of IPECE, said that they were due to the dynamic growth of sectors related to tourism. “This confirms the consolidation of Ceará as a tourist destination within Brazil,” he added.
Spectacular growth in tourism
Tourism in Ceará has grown spectacularly over the last 12 months. The region found itself firmly on the Brazilian holiday map last summer when the state capital Fortaleza played host to several FIFA World Cup matches. Since then, Ceará has received more tourists than ever.
Ceará is currently contending with two other destinations in northeast Brazil to become the TAM Airline hub in the area. Local authorities have just launched a major campaign to raise the state’s profile to persuade the Portuguese airline to make Ceará their choice. If chosen, Ceará will benefit from R$4 billion in investment, the creation of 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, and see 14 direct flights between this part of northeast Brazil and Europe.