In Belém, the basic food basket increases 1.93% in February and compromises almost half the minimum wage

Vitória (ES) - Crowded supermarkets with lines at the cash registers and at the entrance are working in reduced hours. (Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil)

Marcela Leiros – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The price of the basic food basket in Belém (PA), in February, increased 1.93% compared to January. The value went from R$ 563.97 to R$ 574.86, according to the National Research of the Basic Food Basket of the Intersyndicate Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (Dieese). The increase, despite seeming almost negligible, directly impacts the pocketbook and budget of families that depend on the minimum wage of R$ 1,212 to survive.

Belém is one of the 17 capitals researched monthly by the department and the methodology considers the following products: meat; milk; beans; rice; flour; potatoes; vegetables (tomatoes); French bread; powdered coffee; fruits (bananas); sugar; lard/oil; and butter. The value identified in February, in the capital of Pará, represents an impact of 47% on the minimum wage. The price of prime beef was high in 14 capital cities, including Belém (3.20%).


This is the reality for people like pensioner Rosa Gonçalves, who lives in the Terra Firme neighborhood, in Belém. Living together with her husband and four children, the amount of her pension, the Brazil Allowance and the little money she receives from selling pies is not enough to support her family of six.

“We can’t do anything because people go to the fair with R$ 50 and don’t bring anything else,” she explains. “Then, when we have children, we have to buy things for school…. There is a government aid that gives this income complementation, which is really only enough to buy things for the children, for personal use. This is the day to day of us.

Despite not having children, the self-employed André Luis dos Santos, 38, shares the same difficulty. Married, he explained to CENARIUM how his income is small and his expenses are big. “For now it’s not enough, because everything is difficult, it’s complicated. One goes to the supermarket to do some shopping, and when one comes from there one has to pay for other things. It’s not enough”, he said.

Basic food basket in Brazil

Dieese pointed out that the most significant increases occurred in Porto Alegre (3.40%), Campo Grande (2.78%), Goiânia (2.59%) and Curitiba (2.57%). The basket cost was highest in São Paulo (R$ 715.65), followed by Florianópolis (R$ 707.56), Rio de Janeiro (R$ 697.37), Porto Alegre (R$ 695.91) and Vitória (R$ 682.54). Vitória (R$ 682.54). In the cities of the North and Northeast, where the composition of the basket is different from the other capitals, the lowest average values were recorded in Aracaju (R$ 516.82), Recife (R$ 549.20) and João Pessoa (R$ 549.33).

Read also: The ideal minimum wage should have been almost R$ 6 thousand in January, indicates Dieese

The department also pointed out that the ideal minimum wage for the month of February would be R$ 6,012.18, while in January this value would be R$ 5,997.14. As for salary readjustments, Dieese indicated that in February, 60.5% of the 119 readjustments analyzed up to March 9 were below the variation of the National Consumer Price Index, from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (INPC-IBGE). These are preliminary data, but in percentage terms, they are close to what was observed in January 2021, when 2,315 adjustments were analyzed.

Another 15.1% of the February adjustments were equivalent to the accumulated inflation over the previous 12 months. The remaining 24.4% were above the inflation index measured by the IBGE. As for January 2022, the picture improved in relation to that reported in the last edition of this newsletter, with a drop of almost 9 percentage points (p.p.) in readjustments below the INPC and an increase of 10 p.p. in those equal to the inflation.


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