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Deaths exacerbate income losses

Death of 430,000 people from COVID-19 until May could cost the economy R$10.9 billion per month

Léo Ramos Chaves

The pandemic has worsened Brazil’s economic crisis, causing the unemployment rate to rise from 11.9% in 2019 to 13.5% in 2020, and it is forecast to hit 15% in 2021. Deaths caused by COVID-19 have also aggravated income losses. A study by the Brazilian Institute of Economics (IBRE) at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), based on data from the Civil Registry’s Transparency Portal and published in May, estimated that the deaths of almost 430,000 people aged over 20 in Brazil as a result of COVID-19 between March 2020 and May 2021 could cost the economy R$10.9 billion per month in lost earnings from work and pensions, equivalent to 0.4% of total earnings in 2019. This value was calculated from the sum of two groups: people aged between 20 and 69, in which there were 216,600 deaths, corresponding to R$5.9 billion in lost income; and people aged over 70, with 211,000 deaths and a loss of R$5 billion. Until May, 27.2% of all COVID-19 deaths recorded in the country had occurred in the state of São Paulo, and 11.5% in the state of Rio de Janeiro.