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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – While holidays during the workweek are applauded by many who look forward to a short workweek and a chance to travel or just relax at home, for Brazil’s economy the eleven national holidays in this year’s calendar will likely cause significant financial losses for the country’s retailers and industry.

Rio de Janeiro's iconic Zona Sul beaches, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Holidays are welcomed by beach-goers, but not so good for the country’s revenues, photo by Alexandre Macieira/Riotur.

According to Fecomercio-RJ (Rio de Janeiro’s commerce and services association) the holidays this year are likely cause over R$90 billion (US$30 billion) in revenue losses for the services and industry sectors throughout the country. In the state of Rio de Janeiro, the problem is even worse due to the additional three state holidays this year.

“In the state of Rio de Janeiro, the losses with the fourteen national and state holidays during workdays will reach R$14.6 billion (close to US$5 billion),” says Fecomercio-RJ in a recent report. According to the entity, in 2014 the state lost R$11.92 billion (nearly US$3 billion) in revenues due to twelve national and state holidays.

Last week for example, Rio de Janeiro residents faced holidays on Tuesday (national holiday) and Thursday (state holiday), with many employees also taking the day off either on Monday or Friday for an extended weekend.

The National of Goods, Services and Tourism Confederation (CNC) agrees, stating that the holidays cause more havoc in retail sales than benefits. “The interruption of retail sales disorganizes companies cash flow which rarely are compensated in the days prior or after the holiday,” says the entity, adding that the option by retailers to open during the holidays means an increase in personnel costs, due to the law that requires employees to receive double their wages during holiday work periods.

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