As World Economies Falter, Brazil Sambas

New economic powerhouse withstanding tremors
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2008 6:33 AM CDT
Brazil's President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. Long the sick man of the BRICs, Brazil is now emerging as one of the world's most robust economies.   (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
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(Newser) – Economies worldwide are stalling, with growth slowing to a trickle and markets seizing up. But in Brazil, long a laggard on the international stage, the economy is growing at the largest rate in three decades. Good government, progressive social programs, and newly discovered resources have allowed Brazil to finally take its place as a major economic player, reports the New York Times.

President Lula's deft mix of business-friendly policies with state aid for the disadvantaged, such as microloans, has transformed the nation, with incomes for the poor soaring 58%. Brazil's rich natural resources, especially huge oil deposits offshore, have cushioned it from global shocks. "What makes Brazil more resilient is that the rest of the world matters less," said one Citibank economist.