Brazil is in a pretty miserable mood for a party

So it’s finally here. Brazil will kick off the World Cup today with a match against Croatia in Sao Paulo. Let’s hope the national side does well, because the mood in Brazil is already pretty bad.

Consumer sentiment has slumped in recent months. In May, a key reading of consumer confidence slipped to its lowest level in five years (pdf), back to levels last seen when the economy was reeling from the after effects of the global financial crisis.

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And the decline in sentiment has come alongside a sharp slump in consumer spending:

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What’s the problem? Some of the sour sentiment is due to persistently high inflation, which is eating away at Brazilian standards of living…

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…As economic growth is slowing:

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The result? A volatile mix of excitement and discontent ahead of soccer’s showpiece event. Of course, things could change with a few victories. ”Once we see the first game, the parties will start,” a Brasilia doorman told the New York Times. But an ignominious defeat that harkens back to the Curse of Maracanã, could be downright dangerous.

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