Energy rationing can zero GDP growth in 2022, says XP – 14/09/2021 – Market

An energy rationing that reduces the consumption of electricity by 10% for a year could take 1.2 percentage points off the Brazilian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in 2022 and bring the country’s growth to zero, according to calculations by economists at XP.

For next year, XP reduced its GDP growth forecasts from 1.7% to 1.3%, due to the effects of tighter monetary policy and growing uncertainties, with the electoral scenario approaching and a perspective of deceleration in the international economy.

Strong rationing next year, therefore, could practically zero growth expectations and even increase the risk of a recession in 2022.

Despite the other risk factors, the water crisis, which led to a reduction in the reservoirs of hydroelectric plants, is the factor that most worries economists right now.

There is a risk of rationing of up to 30%, which would be the main threat to domestic activity next year, in addition to a slowdown in the global economy that is already being seen, say economists Caio Megale and Rodolfo Silva, from XP.

“I’m more concerned about the power supply than about breaking the spending ceiling to accommodate any expenses,” says Megale.

Recent report from sheet he pointed out that the government is already working with the risk of the country facing an energy “suffocation” also in 2022, which would have weighed on the decision to contract (more expensive) emergency thermal power plants to reinforce the system.

The assessment by the ONS (National Electric System Operator) and the EPE (Energy Research Company) shows that the country should start 2022 with hydroelectric reservoirs in a much more serious state than at the beginning of this year.

Despite the fact that rationing means GDP close to zero next year, for inflation in 2022, the forced reduction in energy consumption would still have an inflationary character, as it would affect supply.

This could cause a 0.6 pp increase in inflation, says Tatiana Nogueira, also from XP, in addition to impacting other prices.

In August, the IPCA (Broad Consumer Price Index) registered the biggest increase for the month in 21 years, of 0.87%, released last week.

Last week, market analysts consulted by the Focus Bulletin, of the Central Bank, again raised the estimates for this year’s inflation, by 8%.