Brazil sees private infrastructure capex nearly doubling in 2022

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A view shows the Ministry of Economy headquarters building in Brasilia

BRASILIA – Brazil’s government sees private investments of 78 billion reais ($15 billion) in infrastructure this year, up 95% from 2021, the economy ministry forecast, supporting its expectations that economic growth will beat meager market forecasts.

The estimate covers investments agreed to under public-private partnerships, which totaled about 40 billion reais last year, according to the ministry’s Secretariat of Economic Policy (SPE).

“It is a very welcome increase and it will have an impact, it is a robust value,” Economic Policy Secretary Adolfo Sachsida said at a press conference.

In total, the SPE said investors have committed to some 1.3 trillion reais in long-term investments in public-private partnerships, with 360 billion reais coming from 2022 to 2025.

The figure does not include the privatization of power company Eletrobras, which the government aims to remove from state control this year by selling enough new shares to dilute its current controlling stake.

While the government has forecast economic growth of 2.1% this year, mainly due to increased private investment and an improved labor market, economists consulted in a weekly survey conducted by the central bank project an expansion of just 0.3%.

“I think we’re going to have a better year than most have predicted,” said Sachsida.

The ministry will review its macroeconomic estimates in mid-March, and the secretary said that “if necessary” the government could raise or lower its outlook for the economy.

($1 = 5.0514 reais)

(Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Marguerita Choy)