The Brazilian 1994 stabilization plan: an analytical view
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The Real Plan has succeeded in stabilizing the Brazilian inflation. The consumer price inflation has been reduced from 11260 percent per year, in June 1994, to an estimate of 8 percent in 1997. The lower inflation resulted in a remarkable income distribution, and in an increased private consumption. The plan managed to control the inflationary effects of the increased demand with some traditional measures: A more liberalized economy, a moving (and overvalued) exchange rate band, high interest rate differentials, and a tight domestic credit policy. The government has, so far failed to accomplish the fiscal adjustment. The price stabilization has largely depended on the current account deficit. However, macroeconomic indicators do not present reasons for concern about the current account sustainability, in the medium-run. The economy may be trapped in a low-growth vicious cycle, represented by a stop-and-go trend, due to the two-way endogencity between domestic saving and growth. Economic growth depends on policies in increase the public sector saving, to secure the privatization of the State enterprises, and to promote investments. The major problem for the government action is, as always, in the political sphere. Approximately 80 percent of the Central Government net revenue are allocated to the social sectors. Consequently, the fiscal reform will hue to deal with the problem of re-designing the public sector’s intervention in the social area. Most probably, it will be inevitable to cut the social area budget. This is politically unpleasant.