Roberto Carlos lost his job as a furniture salesman a few months ago and, unlike many in the marauding crowds on São Paulo’s 25 de Março street, has neither salary nor a year-end bonus. No matter. He too is shopping manically: “Clothes mainly, shoes . . . oh and a coffee machine,” he shouts, struggling to recall what he has bought.
Mr Carlos’ bulging bags belie not only his unemployed status but also the broader Brazilian economy, estimated to have grown just 1 per cent last year. But they do demonstrate the resilience of Brazilian consumers, who have catapulted the country – the world’s seventh biggest economy – to the top of the consumer staples league tables. It ranks in the top four for everything from sweets to alcohol. This year it is forecast to usurp Japan as the number two marketplace for both beauty and personal care products, and next year petfood, according to Euromonitor. Brazil: Consumer rhythm – FT.com.