Underground economy recedes, but at a slower speed


Despite the low GDP growth, the Underground Economy Index, released by ETCO and the Getulio Vargas Foundation's Brazilian Institute of Economics (Ibre / FGV), continues to decline, albeit at a slower pace than in recent years.

The Underground Economy Index (IES), released by ETCO together with the Brazilian Institute of Economics, of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (Ibre / FGV), reached the mark of 16,6% at the end of 2012, which means a drop of 0,3 , XNUMX percentage point over the previous year.

In absolute figures, the estimate is that the underground economy - the production of goods and services not reported to the government, which is outside the national GDP - exceeded R $ 730 billion in 2012.

Ibre / FGV researcher Fernando de Holanda Barbosa Filho states that, although there has been a slowdown in the rate of decline in the index, the result is still positive. "It is necessary to take into account that, even with the low performance of the economy in the year, informality continues to fall," he says. “This slowdown is basically due to the drop in formal hires by the industry and the growth of the service sector, which is labor intensive and very dynamic, but has higher levels of informality than the industry”, explains Barbosa Filho .

“Despite the government's laudable effort to create measures that facilitate formalization, especially in the sectors of commerce and services, in which small entrepreneurs predominate, membership levels in these sectors are still relatively low”, evaluates the ETCO Executive President , Roberto Abdenur.

For him, "it is worth remembering that, since the end of 2012, it has been observed that the growth of the formal labor market has reached its limit due to two major factors: the rigidity of labor laws and the low level of education of Brazilians". He points out that it is necessary to simplify and rationalize the tax system and, thus, make compliance with the law less painful for the population. "The easing of rigid Brazilian labor laws may be a next step towards deepening the process of formalizing the economy, in addition to a continued investment in education, which would reduce the impact that the still low level of education has in terms of informality", he concludes. Abdenur.