More Than Half of Brazilians Approve of Bolsonaro, Poll Shows

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro is backed by over half of the population according to a poll published on Wednesday, signaling his popular support is holding up despite controversies in government.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said they approve of Bolsonaro and the same percentage also trusts him, according to an Ibope survey released on Wednesday by the National Industry Confederation, or CNI. The support level is roughly unchanged from a previous Ibope poll that was published in March, but not sponsored by CNI. Forty percent of respondents said they disapprove of the president.

The survey indicates Bolsonaro is weathering a slew of challenges that he’s faced since assuming power in January, including bickering between cabinet members and his own sons, the loss of two ministers and scrutiny over controversial remarks on social media. Still, confidence in the economy is falling fast as analysts reduce growth expectations for this year and next and the government’s flagship bill advances slowly in Congress.

“Much of the assessment is based on the Brazilian economy, which is stuck,” Renato da Fonseca, CNI’s executive manager for surveys, told reporters in Brasilia. “Unemployment is still very high."

More Than Half of Brazilians Approve of Bolsonaro, Poll Shows

A separate report earlier on Wednesday showed that Brazil lost over 43,000 jobs last month with retail accounting for a large part of the drop. That outcome was worse than expected by all economists in a Bloomberg survey, whose median forecast was for an increase of 80,000 posts.

Thirty-five percent rated Bolsonaro’s government as good or great, according to the poll, while 27 percent described it as bad or terrible. Roughly half of respondents said they disapproved of government actions in unemployment and taxes.

The Ibope poll surveyed 2,000 people in 126 municipalities between April 12 and 15. It has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

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