In the last year Brazil has faced multiple, inter-related challenges which have created a scenario of uncertainty and recession.
Facing high interest rates, on top of political and economic turbulence, the market is today awaiting decisions from the government and the Central Bank which may underpin a gradual resumption of economic growth. Optimistic forecasts include GDP contraction of 3% in 2016, followed by slight growth in 2017.
The degree of confidence of business owners and executives will also play an important role in Brazil’s economic recuperation. Indeed we note a slight increase in business confidence in the second semester of 2016, though not alone robust enough ignite a sustained recovery.
One of the problematic consequences of Brazil’s recession is a deterioration of its labor market. Unemployment is already high and still rising, with the expectation that it will hit 12% by the end of 2016 and remain stubbornly high throughout 2017.
The combination of factors mentioned above has generated increasing personal debt and falling credit-worthiness which has also contributed to falling consumption.
Inflation has begun to show signs of abatement, though more as a result of the economic slowdown than in response to government containment measures. Current projections are for a Consumer Price Index increase of about 7% for the year as a whole.
Meanwhile in recent months, with economic signals stabilizing, the Brazilian Real has appreciated substantially, which will likely cause a dragging effect on the nation’s trade balance.
In any case, for Brazil to regain its image as a dynamic society and promising economy, sustained by political stability and increasing general productivity, there is much to be done. Government operations and spending, including social entitlement programs, must be moralized and rationalized.
Additionally labor law and the education system need reform, and innovation needs directed incentives. Happily the building blocks of natural resources and a solid agricultural sector are already in place.
Given the context mentioned above, it is no surprise that 2016 was a particularly difficult year for Brazilian executives. The profitability of local companies was under constant pressure during the year, resulting in organizational restructuring and executive job redundancies.
Additionally, in recent months we have noted changes in the profiles of professionals sought in certain functions, especially commercial and financial, as companies adjust their strategies to current economic realities.
However the second half of 2016 should evidence a gradual increase in the opening of new executive positions, as some companies take up projects postponed in recent times, preparing for a new cycle of growth. This tendency should continue through 2017 and 2018, generating opportunities for executives in transition or in search of new challenges.
This is the 37th Annual Executive Compensation Survey realized by Boyden Brazil. It is made up of information and analyses based on data supplied by 127 participating companies. The survey’s base-date is April 2016.
All the companies which participated are in the private sector, mainly in the South and Southeast of Brazil. Taken as a whole, they well represent the most advanced part of the Brazilian economy.The information of survey participants is divided into three different groups, according to their annual revenues, as shown in the following table: