With an area of approximately 8.5 million square kilometers, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. In 2015, the country had a population amounting to around 204 million people, a figure which continues to increase rapidly. Brazil’s largest cities are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.
Brazil is also among the leading emerging countries, the so-called BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Its gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to almost 2.08 trillion U.S. dollars in 2017, not only making it one of the largest economies in the world, but also positioning it to displace Italy in the ranking. However, after years of high growth rates, economic growth in Brazil decreased to 0.5 percent in 2014, estimates even show a -3.6 percent deficit in 2016. Brazil's economic growth is not expected to return to previous heights before 2019 - and even then that means percentages comparable to 2012. GDP per capita was at 8,726 U.S. dollars in 2016, but is expected to rise above 10,000 U.S. dollars per capita for the foreseeable future, which is still significantly lower than GDP per capita of the industrialized states.
Brazil’s unemployment rate has decreased considerably over the last ten years; while more than 12 percent of Brazilians were unemployed in 2003, this rate was halved by 2012. After reaching its lowest value in 2014, the unemployment rate is estimated to increase again to over 8 percent in 2015 and event to almost 11.5 percent by 2017. Brazil also reported the second-highest inflation rate among the leading industrialized and emerging countries with 8.86 percent as of 2015 – but the rate is estimated to decrease again over the next few years.
Brazil’s trade figures have been fairly low in the past, but in 2011, Brazil's trade picked up speed with exported goods worth approximately 256 billion U.S. dollars, and imported goods worth about 237 billion U.S. dollars. It is thus neither a leading export nor a leading import country. Its most important export and import partners are China, the United States and Argentina.
Brazil’s national debt has been stable over the last few years, but is estimated to increase significantly by 2020. Additionally, the state deficit was estimated to reach an alltime high with -10.38 percent of GDP in 2016 after an initial slip below the 6-percent mark in 2014.
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