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Demand for Services Rendered to Families in Brazil in the 2000’s: An Empirical Analysis of Consumer Patterns and Social Expansion

Andre Brunelli

No 381, Working Papers Series from Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department

Abstract: This paper aims at investigating the structural relation between patterns of services consumption and income. We focus on how patterns of services consumption adjust to different levels of income by using the perspective of social expansion as a narrative approach for the Brazilian case in the last decade. We present evidence of nonlinearity in the relation between services consumption and income by using data of the last two versions (2002-2003 and 2008-2009) of the POF-IBGE. The main conclusion follows. Although the population rise of the middle class was remarkably larger than the increase of the richest class, total expenditure and its share on services of the richest class was sufficiently large for this class to outweigh the middle class in accounting for the growth of families’ total expenditure on services. Thus, a policy implication arises. If one assume that Brazil is able to keep in a similar developing path that was experienced in the past decade, which combines expansion of the middle class and the richest class, then unless there are systematic increases in productivity stemming especially from the tradable sector, demand for services rendered to families is likely to be a source of persistent pressures on consumer inflation. The results additionally suggest that, other things equal, demand pressures will stem in special from personal services and transportation since consumption of these IPCA clusters has the particular feature of combining both a high share of total services consumption and a high sensitivity to income rises of Brazilian households in the period.

Date: 2015-03
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