“Ok, the disgrace was announced for next year”, joked Paulo Guedes, Economy Minister, yesterday, when commenting on the bets in the financial market on the decline of the economy in 2022, year of general elections.

The pessimistic climate stems from the prospect of an increase in the Gross Domestic Product next year at a pace below the average population growth (1.2% per year). If the prognoses are confirmed, it would be a disastrous epilogue, in the middle of an election year, of another decade lost in national development.

The “roll of misfortunes”, in Guedes’ sarcasm, can be summarized as follows: in the most optimistic hypothesis, drawn up by Safra bank, the country will grow 1.1%; in the most pessimistic version, JP Morgan projects growth of 0.9% of the GDP — but some people estimate half of that.

Guedes shows signs of loneliness in government and beyond. It could be inspired by a rereading by John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006), who said about economists and their predictions: “They like to fight amongst themselves so as not to run the risk of being all wrong at the same time”. In just over 15 months it will be possible to know who went wrong first.

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