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Brazil has ‘an Italy’ of defaulters

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Brazil never had so many defaulters. In July, the total number of Brazilians with overdue debts reached 63.4 million, according to the Credit Protection Service (SPC), a contingent almost equivalent to the population of Italy . The number scares because the historical series showed an improvement in delinquency from March to September 2017, says Marcela Kawauti , chief economist at SPC Brazil. However, the reversal of the economy’s expectations affected this trajectory.

The poorest are still the ones who owe the most, but it is among the highest-income families that defaults have resisted, according to the latest survey by the National Confederation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism ( CNC ). While the percentage of lower-income families with outstanding debts fell from 29% in July 2017 to 26.7%, now, in the group with income of more than ten minimum wages, the delinquency rate reached 10.8% 10.6% from the same month last year.

SPC Brazil’s chief economist explains that, in general, the behavior of the indebted does not change according to income. “The upper classes have more room for maneuver, but for the most part, the more people earn, the more they spend.” CNC economist Marianne Hanson points out that the higher income families have access to better quality credit, with lower interest and longer term.

For the experts, however, the crisis did not teach Brazilians much in terms of spending control or conscious consumption. “We thought that the crisis would lead to changes in behavior, but this only happened in the short term. In the long term, more strategic, nothing has changed,” cries Marcela of SPC Brazil.