Money and banking in Brazil
currency of Brazilis officially called ‘Real Brasileiro’. Plural form of Brazil's money is ‘reais’. ‘
Real’ refers to ‘royal’ in Portuguese. During the occupation of the Dutch, in 1624 the guilder was the first money currency used in Brazil. Sixty years later, the real was introduced as the first real (sic) Brazilian currency.
Brazil has a long history of
inflationof the national currency.
To give an idea of its money problems, mid 1800s the mil-réis was introduced; ‘mil-réis’ translates as ‘thousand real’.
In 1942, a new currency was brought into circulation, the cruzeiro. Just 25 years later, the new cruzeiro was introduced. Exchange rate: 1000:1.
The following years the problem never got solved: in 1986 the cruzado was successor of the new cruzeiro (1000:1) which in 1989 was swapped for the new cruzado (1000:1). Already in 1990 the cruzeiro was reintroduced (1:1), replaced by the cruzeiro real in 1993 (1000:1) and finally in 1994 by the real brasileiro (2750:1). Essentially, the exchange rate of the new currency was on a par with the
|Since then, the real brasileiro has fluctuated widely and at one point dropped as low as 4:1.
However, since 2000 the real has made the most impressive gains against the US dollar of any currency in the world and continues to do so.
At the time of writing (2014), inflation rates are around 6.5%. Officially that is, because there are times prices seem to increase faster than official figures show...
exchange ratefor tourists at banks, hotels and airports is usually a little less than the commercial or bank rate. The parallel rate is often the basis used by cambistas (black market money changers).
One real is 100 centavos. The ISO code (currency exchange symbol) of Brazil's money is BRL and its sign is R$. Coins in circulation are 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos and 1 real. Available bank notes are 1 (although currently out of print), 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 reais.