09 Jun

Price control measures drive the debate on inflation and fuel to its highest volume since May

Updated 13 de June, 2022 at 4:53 pm

  • Debates on inflation and fuel are highly associated in the period
  • Bolsonaro’s support group blamed Petrobras, in line with the privatization agenda.

The announcement of price control measures for fuel by President Jair Bolsonaro drove the debate on the topic, with more than 132,000 mentions between June 6 and 7. Those were the findings of a survey by the Department of Public Policy Analysis at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP), which analyzed the evolution of mentions in the debates on inflation, fuel and privatization between May 1 and June 7. The peak of discussion prompted by the announcement also drove the debate on inflation and far surpassed the volume of debate that happened on May 12, when the IBGE announced the inflation rate.

Evolution of economic topic in the debate about the elections on Twitter
Period: May 1 to June 7 | Aggregated per day

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

  • The disclosure of record profits by Petrobras in the first quarter of 2022 caused indignation in a peak of discussion on May 6 due to the company’s fuel price readjustments and price policies. Although President Bolsonaro appealed for there to be no new readjustments during his live broadcast on May 5, many posts blamed the president for bad administration that affected inflation. The president’s supporters blamed Petrobras for the economic downturn and encouraged its privatization.
  • While critics of the president highlighted the abusive fuel prices and a potential correction with the return of former president Lula, Bolsonaro supporters blamed Petrobras and saw the readjustments as a maneuver to overthrow the president. In addition, the suspension of presidential decrees by Supreme Court ministers was also seen as a cause of inflation.
  • A statement made by the Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), claiming that there would be no time to address the privatization of Petrobras in Congress, generated strong mobilization about this topic on May 12. The senator’s position displeased both the ruling wing, which favors privatization, and the opposition groups, who saw the statement as a pretext for President Jair Bolsonaro to continue claiming that he cannot govern due to impasses between the branches of power.
  • May 12 was also marked by a lot of discussion around the topic of inflation, with the news that the phenomenon had already reached 12% this year, affecting several products. While government supporters argued that the price hike is a global phenomenon due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, critical opinions of Bolsonaro attribute the problem to the current economic administration.
  • Jair Bolsonaro’s announcement of proposals to control recent increases in gasoline and cooking gas prices on June 7 increased the debate about fuel and inflation on Twitter. Praising the initiative, the pro-government group highlighted the president’s decision to bear the impact that the proposal would have on the state government budgets. Opposition groups, on the other hand, saw the attitude as an election maneuver, since the proposal’s implementation would take more than a year.