Brazil: A new moment

Brazil in 2023 finally seems to be the master of its own destiny.

Ipsos | Almanac 2024 | Brazil

After almost a decade of battling unexpected adversaries, from a historic recession, colossal corruption scandals, presidential impeachment, a pandemic and aggressively divisive elections, this year (so far) marks a history of its own choices, written by its own hands – for better or worse.

There is an undeniable improvement in the morale and optimism of Brazilian citizens: the Ipsos Consumer Confidence Index reached its highest level in 10 years in July (60.1), after an almost 14-month upward trend that benefited both from the pre-election increase in public spending in the last months of the previous government and the natural optimism immediately after a new government takes office. Public spending continued to grow aggressively through a very generous handouts programme, keeping household consumption at a reasonable level.

With the country's economy showing signs of positive momentum this year, with better-than-expected results in GDP, inflation and unemployment, it is not surprising that the perception that the country is on the right track reached a record high in July (60%).

But as Brazilians have learnt from an early age, the situation is never stable for long: growing fiscal imbalances and fierce political divisions have already begun to cast shadows on this clear positive path, clouding the future.

More mixed feelings

As is often the case, Brazil in 2023 is intensifying its social expressions of tension, of opposites that coexist poorly in our daily lives: the modern and the traditional, the luxurious and the pious, the festive and the aggressive, are poles of the same people that make this country so culturally diverse and so complex. A few examples:

  • The country of the good old days is missed by 61% (Ipsos Global Trends), nostalgia is confirmed by the election of a president who governed the country in a more positive time 20 years ago, or the frequent celebrations of the dictatorship period. At the same time, Brazilians are among the top users of social media, highly dependent on their mobile phones and technology (79% say they could not live without the Internet, 8 points above the global average).

  • The Ipsos Pride Month Survey shows that 15% of Brazilians (33% among Gen Z) identify as LGBTQIA+, the highest percentage of any country surveyed – while Brazil has one of the highest rates of hate crimes against sexual minorities. According to a dossier by the National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (Antra) and the Brazilian Association of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites, Transsexuals and Intersexuals (ABGLT), 273 LGBTQIAPN+ people died violently in Brazil in 2022. More than half of the victims were trans women (58.24%).

  • With a very visible biodiversity, Brazilians are very proud of it and show a growing concern about the environment and climate change, as seen in the recent increase in the country's concern (from 7% in January to a record high of 17% in October), but the perception that we are heading towards disaster if we do not change our habits decreased -5pp in Ipsos Global Trends, showing confusion and susceptibility to fake news.

New villain

If there is one thing Brazilians agree on at the moment, it is the need to fight inequality. It is currently the main concern of Brazilians – interestingly, it only appeared in the top three concerns for the first time in 2021, in the midst of a pandemic, never to leave the top spot – and its fight was the main campaign proposal of the then candidate Lula in 2022.

Public opinion on the issue makes it clear what the enemy is: 

  • 82% of Brazilians consider inequality to be very bad for the country, 8pp above the global average – a clear materialisation of a trend, Capitalism Turning Point, also observed in the Global Trend Survey.

  • Support for globalisation has fallen -13 pp in just one year, another sign of a problem that needs a solution.

Conclusion

This is the mood of the country, the weather that can change in an instant, the mixed feelings of nostalgia and perspective, as we call the latest edition of Ipsos Flair. To understand the country in these times, it is essential to keep one's finger on the pulse – and to recognise the peculiarities of all the regions and tribes of this giant continental nation.

Marcos Calliari
Country Manager, Ipsos in Brazil