Bad debt hits record with 66.6 million people, says Serasa
In comparison with May 2021, there was an increase of 4 million negative names
In a scenario of interest and inflation running at high levels in the country, and with an economic activity with difficulties to start, people with overdue bills have reached record levels.
Data from the Serasa Experian Consumer Default Indicator released this Monday (11) show that Brazil broke the record with 66.6 million defaulters in May, the highest number since the beginning of the historical series, in 2016.
Also according to Serasa data, compared to May 2021, there was an increase of 4 million negative names.
In the balance sheet for the first quarter of the year, the large banks had already been unanimous in signaling that an increase in customer delinquency was expected for the remainder of the year.
Among the main factors that have contributed the most to the picture is the persistent inflationary pressure. Driven by higher prices for food away from home and health insurance, the country’s official inflation index rose 0.67% in June.
The result shows an acceleration of the IPCA (Broad Consumer Price Index), since, in May, the advance had been less intense (0.47%). The variation of 0.67% is the highest for June since 2018. At the time, the index had risen 1.26%, after the economic impacts of the truck drivers’ strike.
To combat the rise in prices, the BC (Central Bank) has promoted since the beginning of last year a series of increases in the basic interest rate, the Selic, which went from the historic low of 2% per year to the current 13.25 %. The increase in the cost of money, in turn, puts additional pressure on household income, which still has to live with an unemployment rate close to double digits.
According to Serasa Experian economist, Luiz Rabi, despite the expected increase in default, it is possible to improve the situation. “Consumers need to continue organizing themselves financially and using available tools, such as the FGTS withdrawal, to try to get their name out of the red.”
Banks and cards lead the volume of negative debts
Serasa’s sectoral analysis also recorded that the largest volume of negative debts is in the banks and cards segment, with 28.2% of the total.
Next are basic accounts such as water, electricity and gas, grouped in the “utilities” area, with 22.7%. In third place are the retail and financial sectors, with 12.5% each.
In the regional breakdown among Brazilian states, São Paulo concentrates the largest number of defaulters (15.6 million), followed by Rio de Janeiro (6.7 million), Minas Gerais (6.3 million), Bahia (4.1 million ) and Paraná (3.5 million).