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Bolsonaro Approval Steadies on Brazil Economy Upturn, Poll Shows

Matthew Malinowski

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro’s approval rating stabilized following a drop earlier this year amid increased optimism on the future of the nation’s economy, a public opinion survey showed.

Thirty percent of respondents rate Bolsonaro’s government as “good or great,” rising within the margin of error from 29% in late August, according to a Datafolha poll published on Sunday by Folha de S. Paulo. The number of respondents who said the economy will improve in upcoming months rose to 43% from 40%, while those who said it will worsen fell to 24% from 26%.

Signs are mounting that Latin America’s largest economy is strengthening following a lackluster recovery from its worst recession on record. Third-quarter growth beat forecasts on broad-based gains from investments to agriculture, retail sales have risen for five straight months, and analysts have increased 2020 GDP calls. On Dec. 11, the central bank is expected to deliver its fourth straight cut to borrowing costs to further buttress demand.

Read More: Brazil Economy Beats Forecasts in Sign of Stronger Recovery

Within Latin America, Brazil is starting to pull away from other large nations such as Mexico, which is forecast to stagnate this year, and Argentina, which is mired in a deep recession. By comparison, Brazil is seen expanding by roughly 1% this year and by 2.2% in 2020.

The poll also showed there’s plenty of room for improvement in the president’s standing. Only one in four approve of the work of Bolsonaro’s pro-market economic team, while only 16% back his administration’s policies in the fight against unemployment, which has remained in the double-digits.

Read More: Brazil Unemployment Rate Slips for First Time in Three Months

Eighty percent of respondents said they “never” or “sometimes” trust in Bolsonaro’s remarks. Only 19% said they “always” trust the president.

Datafolha surveyed 2,948 people in 176 municipalities on Dec. 5-6, and the interviews were carried out in person. The poll has a margin of error or plus or minus two percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Malinowski in Brasilia at mmalinowski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Walter Brandimarte at wbrandimarte@bloomberg.net, Ian Fisher, Matthew G. Miller

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