Brazilians' 'fanatical' travel to US helps drive Brazil's economic boom
Brazil's new middle class, by spending record numbers on consumer goods and services like travel, is attracting investment and international business to the country, fueling its growth.
One of the most impressive results of Brazil's economic rise has been the explosion of the middle class, and the expansion of what is called the C Class. Beyond the stock market, the oil fields, and the upcoming international events, the new middle class is what really has helped fuel growth and has attracted so much investment and international business.Skip to next paragraph
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In Brazil, socioeconomic level are divided by letters: A and B (upper income), C (middle income), D (lower middle income), and E (low income). This week, a new government study from the Strategic Affairs Secretariat (SAE) was released that provide insight into the new middle class, and provides an interesting look at Brazil's biggest consumers.
The middle class now encompasses 52 percent of the Brazilian population, with around 95 million people. A new middle class family earns between 1,000 reais and 4,000 reais per month, or $615 and $2,461. The average monthly salary for a middle class family is 2,295 reais, around $1,412, which amounts to about $18,356 a year (including the "13th" bonus salary). Most are urban dwellers (89 percent live in cities) and largely concentrated in Brazil's wealthier regions (the South, Southeast, and Central-West). The majority are adults (63 percent are over 25), and slightly more than half are female and white. Amongst those in the C Class, six out of ten are employed. Plus, the rise of women in the workplace and higher education levels have helped propel families into the C class.
Brazilians from the new middle class are spending record numbers on consumer goods and services, and are expected to spend $1.5 trillion in 2011. Shopping malls, which have become increasingly popular in the last few years, are mushrooming all over the country. This week, BR Malls acquired four new malls, and has plans to expand to Argentina and Chile. Also this week, Australia's Westfield Group purchased a 50 percent stake for $440 million in Brazil's Almeida Junior Shopping Centers. Companies are opening offices and turning their focus from the US and European markets to Brazil. As this Los Angeles Times article explains, companies disappointed with zero growth in the US are expanding to Brazil where opportunities for new investments abound – particularly with middle class consumers.