Small dictionary of “economics” for you to prepare for the entrance exam

With recent news from the economic universe taking the spotlight all over Brazil – see tax reform, high interest rates, inflation of market products – it is normal for many people to feel a little lost. After all, there are so many acronyms and concepts used all the time that it is inevitable to get confused. No one is born knowing how to speak “economese” – and this is not a language that is taught in school.

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Economics is an applied social science. According to the Faculty of Economics, Administration, Accounting and Actuary of the University of São Paulo (FEA-USP), it is the set of activities developed by men aiming at the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services necessary for the survival and quality of life. life.

To help you understand a little more about the economic universe and stay on top of all the news that is happening, the STUDENT GUIDE created a small economics dictionary to help you navigate the news. Check it out!


The Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, is an economic indicator that sums up all final products and goods produced by a given country over a period of time, usually over a year.

The role of GDP is to analyze the country’s economic growth and identify which production sectors generate more income. It is calculated by adding only final products and services (to avoid double counting), such as a car, for example, but not the iron produced to build the car. Investments made in the area of ​​production and government expenditures are also accounted for. for the population.

Attention: GDP is not an indicator of the country’s wealth (like the national treasury, for example), but rather an indicator of production.

+ Do you know how GDP is calculated?


Taxes are a tribute from the State to pay for the general functioning of government machinery, whether services for the population, such as a health or transport system, for example, or for the state machine itself, such as paying public servants.

There are five types of taxes, but the most important are taxes and social contributions, as they are the ones that raise the most resources for the government. The budget for public education, for example, comes from state and municipal tax resources, for the most part.

To understand more deeply what taxes are and why the popular notion that Brazilians pay a lot of taxes is only partially true, access this text in the GUIDE DO ESTUDANTE.

+ Do Brazilians pay a lot of tax? Understand how taxation works in the country


The Extended National Consumer Price Index, or IPCA, aims to measure the variation in prices of products and services marketed to the Brazilian family from month to month.

The average salary used to calculate the IPCA is between 1 and 40 minimum wages, as the IPCA’s objective is to cover the purchasing power of 90% of Brazilian families.

The IPCA is calculated between the 1st and 30th of each calculation month, and prices are collected at commercial establishments.


Inflation represents the increase in the price of products sold in the country. It is calculated using the official price indices for commercial products, the IPCA, which we explained above. The opposite of inflation is the deflationwhich is categorized when there is a drop in product prices.

Inflation, unfortunately, is an old acquaintance of Brazilians, thanks to the long period of uncontrolled price increases that we had in the 1980s. Inflation is another important concept to bear in mind because, when its index is too high, it “eats” the purchasing power of the population (not only in the market, but also in other products and services), since prices rise very quickly, but income does not follow. Therefore, inflation is directly linked to purchasing power.

+ Answer your questions about inflation and deflation


Interest is a kind of remuneration made for loans, financing and availability of credit limits on cards by banks. Basically, it’s an extra fee charged by those who lend money – whether it’s time to pay off bank loans, or time to pay off a late bill, for example. The logic is as follows: “Did you spend what you didn’t have? It’s okay, you can pay later, but you’ll have to pay extra for the delay”.

The Selic rate directly influences interest rates, as it is the minimum rate for all banks in force in the country.

Selic rate

The Selic rate is the acronym for Special System of Settlement and Custody, and is the basic interest rate of the Brazilian economy. The Selic rate influences all interest rates of banks in the country, such as loans, financial investments and financing.

The Selic rate is one of the government’s main tools to contain inflation in the country. To understand the news, it is important to pay attention to this rate, along with inflation. Here’s why: when inflation is very high, the Central Bank (responsible for regulating the Selic rate) increases the Selic rate. This makes loans more expensive – and ends up discouraging consumption. With fewer people consuming, the tendency is for commodity prices to decrease to attract more customers – and inflation ends up falling.

With the high Selic rate, interest on credit cards, financing and bank loans also increase.

+ The Copom raised the Selic. And you with that?


The Monetary Policy Committee, or Copom, is a combination of Central Bank representatives, which meets every 45 days to define the Selic rate for the next period.

That is, they will define what the basic interest rate will be for banks, according to the analysis of inflation, the economic scenario (GDP) during that period, public spending and also the influence of the global political scenario.

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