At least that’s what the “Data Popular” study is showing, according to the Financial Times. Some good points, but not sure I agree with it entirely. Here are some of the article’s highlights:
“Talk to an economist about Brazil and sooner or later the same old cliché will pop up: ‘the rise of the middle classes’. This stock phrase has become the go-to explanation for pretty much everything in Brazil; from why the country’s retailers are posting record profits, to why traffic is so bad in São Paulo, and why Chinese manufacturers are lining up to invest in local factories. 

But who are these new middle classes, the C class that now includes 95m Brazilians and makes up just over half of the country’s population? Brazil’s middle class is, by many standards, poor. The government’s definition is any household with a combined monthly family income of between R$1,000 ($631) and R$4,000. In other words, a whole family surviving on about $20 a day is still considered middle class.

Interestingly, though, a new study by Brazil-based Data Popular shows that Brazilians also make the same mistake. Only a third of middle class Brazilians knew they belonged to Class C, while the rest identified themselves as lower-income or poor, according to Data Popular, which interviewed 3000 people across 251 cities.

Brazil is expensive. If you’ve been to São Paulo recently you’ll see that many things cost the same as (or even more) than they do in the US or Europe. If you’re earning a Brazilian wage but paying developed world prices, no wonder many still feel poor.”

Source: Financial Times

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