August Sees Strong Mix of Emotions Around the Economy in a Turbulent Month for Both Brazilian and Mexican Media and Web Conversations
LatAm Intersect PR publishes latest monthly Emotional Climate Report (ECR) for Latin America
ECR technology applied to public and press emotions around the issue of economy across the countries of Brazil and Mexico
August was a mixed month of economic news for both Brazil and Mexico, Latin America’s two biggest economies. The month started with a shockwave for Mexico as the Bank of America forecast zero growth for its southern neighbor in 2023, and this announcement was followed by the news that another historic interest rate hike was to be expected by the Mexican central bank in an effort to combat the global inflation crisis. Brazil also started off the month by raising interest rates with warnings of more to come. However, as the month progressed, both countries received more positive news stories, with Brazil making more progress in a bilateral trade agreement with the United States and seeing its economic growth beat expectations, and Mexico ending the month with its currency strengthening against the dollar.
7-day News average
The 7-day average of both Brazilian and Mexican media articles related to the subject of the economy registered 22,160 data points (ie. references to core emotions with respect to the economy) for the month of August, with the Brazilian media being responsible for 9,424 data points. In the Brazilian media for the month of August, the dominant emotion was ‘happiness’ accounting for 17.72% of the total data points registered.
The 7-day news average for the month of August in Brazil is a fairly subdued picture, with two slight rises in emotion at the beginning and middle of the month. From August 1st to August 5th there is a small rise in the emotion of ‘sadness’ (figure 1.). This was probably due to the expected interest rate rise on the 4th and may have also been linked to the admission by the minister for the economy, Paulo Guedes, that the government had exceeded their spending. However, this small rise in ‘sadness’ was soon replaced by a rise in ‘happiness’ for over a week between August 11th to 20th (figure 2.). This was no doubt linked to the surprising news that the Brazilian economy had grown more than expected.
The 7-day news average for Mexico registered 12754 data points associated with the issue of the economy. The dominant emotion for the month of August among the Mexican media was ‘sadness’ with 2,654 data points or 20.81% of the total data points registered.
August 2nd registered a huge peak for the emotion of ‘sadness’ around the theme of the economy in the Mexican media (figure 3.). This was no doubt associated with the news that the Bank of America predicted zero growth for Mexico in 2023, alongside articles questioning whether Mexico was entering a recession. However, following this peak of sadness was a rise in ‘happiness’ from August 3rd until August 12th (figure 4.), which is odd because this week was filled with media reports reacting to the Bank of America’s stark pronouncement. Perhaps the media took some relief in hoping that the worst news of the month was already out of the way.
The web conversations around the issue of the economy registered over 123billion data points. Brazil was responsible for 90billion and Mexico for 32billion data points apiece. Among Brazilian web users the dominant emotion was ‘disgust,’ which made up 12billion data points or 13.99% of the total Brazilian web conversations.
August 4th saw a significant peak of ‘happiness,’ ‘anticipation’ and ‘jealousy’ (figure 5.). It’s hard to say if such a strong mixture of emotions was linked to the statement by Brazil’s economy minister Paolo Guedes about the government having broken their spending ceiling, Brazil’s fiscally storm-tossed neighbor Argentina’s announcement of a new economics minister, or the news that the Brazilian real had closed higher against the dollar. The second emotional peak happened on August 18th and was made up of emotions of ‘disgust,’ ‘happiness’ and ‘jealousy’ (figure 6.). Another strong mixture of emotions was most probably linked to the announcement that the Brazilian government promised to raise the Auxílio Brasil (Brazilian Support) for the country’s poorest families to R$600 per month in 2023.
August saw web conversations in Mexico around the issue of the economy registering 32billion data points. The dominant emotion among online conversations was ‘surprise’ with 4.5billion data points or 13.96% of the total data points registered.
The month began with two significant peaks, one on August 2nd of ‘sadness’ and ‘fear’ (figure 7.) followed by a larger peak on August 4th of ‘surprise’ and ‘anticipation’ (figure 8.). These largely mimicked the emotions seen in the 7-day news average, with plenty of sober warnings about technical recessions and zero growth in the new year, which would’ve made online conversations about the subject more sad and fearful.
“This month shows that the media and direct on the Web (public) conversations largely aligned when it came to the subject of the economy in Latin America’s two economic powerhouses,” comments Roger Darashah, Co-founder of LatAm Intersect PR.
“The emotions may register slightly more strongly direct on the Web (where there are fewer ‘editorial filters’), but both countries saw downbeat economic news arriving at the beginning of the month, only to be followed by slightly more positive announcements as August drew to a close.”
He continues, “Brazil has a big stress test coming up at the beginning of October as it approaches the most divisive presidential elections since redemocratization while Mexico will want to keep a lid on inflation that still threatens to wipe out economic growth for the rest of the year and beyond. However, both countries are looking to surprise the doomsayers and prove that Latin America can be a major force for economic growth in a world where Europe is facing a difficult winter and the United States is teetering on the brink of a recession.”
LatAm Intersect PR will be publishing monthly Emotional Climate Reports on key issues of interest to the region such as: vaccines, economics, politics, crypto-currencies, the environment, diversity and equality.
“The technology reflects the basis of our agency, our audience-based programming methodology, and why we created them. Society’s number one favorite subject is itself; individuals are the new protagonists. The sooner and better brands understand what and how the public thinks, the deeper they’ll be able to engage,” he concludes.
Emotional Climate Reports are currently available in Argentina (Spanish), Brazil (Portuguese), Chile (Spanish), and Mexico (Spanish); versions for Colombia (Spanish) and Peru (Spanish) will follow.