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By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In 2011 Brazil’s middle class was the biggest of all five of the country’s ‘official’ classes, comprising 54 percent of the population. In the last year alone 2.7 million Brazilians moved up into the middle or ‘C’ class, according to a report entitled ‘Observador Brasil 2012,’ published by Cetelem BGN, part of the BNP Paribas group, in partnership with Ipsos Publics Affairs.

Last year alone 2.7 million Brazilians moved up into the middle or ‘C’ class, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Last year alone 2.7 million Brazilians moved up into the middle or ‘C’ class, photo by Ben Tavener.

The survey which analyses income and spending patterns, has been running since 2005 and the classes range from E at the bottom to A at the upper end of the scale, subdividing the population according to income bracket.

The results show a positive upward trend compared to 2005, when the majority of the population (51 percent) were classified as D or E.

Likewise, the report demonstrated that 230,000 people had left the C class in 2011 and moved up to A and B classes. A total of 22 percent of Brazilians occupy the upper echelons compared to 15 percent in 2005.

A separate Monthly Employment Report (PME) was also released yesterday by the government statistics bureau, the IBGE, which showed that the average wage of the Brazilian worker had reached R$1,699.70 in February this year – its highest level since March 2002.

It also demonstrated that the purchasing power of workers had risen by 1.2 percent since January and 4.4 percent compared to February.

In an interview for TV InfoMoney, vice president of the Cetelem BGM, Miltonleise Carreiro Filho, said that while Brazilians are still spending, they are becoming more cautious and spending less of their disposable income of late.

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