Evolving Growth Play

May 1, 2011

As Brazil’s middle-income segment continues to grow, a straightforward equities buy has become trickier stock-picking terrain. Inflation and government policy are the biggest risks.

Keywords: Lojas Renner Citi Porto Alegre F&G

by Ben Miller

Brazil’s GDP has been growing at 3%-5% for most of the last 10 years, but the Brazilian consumer’s growing power is still the play equities investors love to talk about. Even those late to tune in to the EM game understand that a major demographic shift is underway, and still has room to grow.

The classe C or “C” class, as the middleincome segment is called, in Brazil had come to represent 51% of the population by 2009, up from 38% in 2003, according to the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). The Brazilian university expects it to reach 56% by 2014. Definitions of the C class vary, but the FGV classifies it as a family income of 1,126 reais to 4,854 reais per month.

All this has meant strong and growing companies in the...

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