© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva poses for a photo beside journalists, during a breakfast with foreign correspondents at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil August 2, 2023. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo
BRASILIA (Reuters) -Approval of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government increased in August on voter perceptions that Brazil’s economy is improving and he is doing a good job governing, a new Genial/Quaest poll showed on Wednesday.
Positive approval of the government rose to 42% of respondents from 37% in June, while negative views fell 3 points to 24%, the poll found.
Approval of Lula’s performance as president has risen to 60% from 56%, and is at its highest since a February poll, the first survey one month after he took office.
“The 60% is good news for Lula, particularly given the political polarization of Brazil,” said analyst Andre Cesar at Hold Assessoria Legislativa consultancy. But he warned that the government cannot rest on its laurels and should watch out for the impact fuel price rises will have.
After dipping in April to 23%, the number of Brazilians who now see the economy improving rose to 34% in August, and the main reason has been the drop in food prices, the poll showed. Negative views of the economy have decreased again after starting to fall in June, the polling firm found.
Optimism over the economy’s future has grown, from 56% to 59% of Brazilians who believe it will improve in the next 12 months.
The poll showed that Lula’s approval rating has improved among sectors of society and regions of Brazil that mostly voted against him in last year’s election.
For the first time more Evangelical Christians approve of the leftist leader than disapprove, and his ratings rose in the south of Brazil, where his Workers Party has faced electoral defeats.
Lula’s policies that have most pleased voters, including those who did not vote for him, are his Plano Safra – a financing program for farming – and his plan to help people reduce their debt. Least popular is his tax reform proposal, the poll said.
Genial/Quaest interviewed 2,029 people of voting age between August 10 and August 14. The poll has a 2.2 percentage point error margin.