Few observers doubt the immense potential of Brazil, one of the world's most significant emerging economies. Indeed, Brazil has great advantages. Compared with its colleagues in the BRIC quartet of emerging giants, it is richer than India and China and larger and more democratically stable than Russia. It is the largest nation in Latin America, with one-third of the region's population generating 44 percent of its GDP. Already the sixth-largest economy in the world, it could become the fifth by 2020, according to forecasts by the Economist Intelligence Unit. But growth, and the investment decisions that underpin it, doesn't happen by magic. Substantial growth takes enlightened government and well-informed decisions by potential investors.
Brazil's government has yanked down interest rates to record lows and kept the value of the real, the country's currency, in check. The government has even doled out tax cuts in attempts to boost growth. But so far, there's not much evidence those strategies are working "” and key economic data released recently probably won't change things.