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PublicationBrazil - Growth and Poverty Reduction in Rio Gande Do Norte: A State Economic Memorandum(Washington DC, 2004-01-16) World BankBrazil was the fastest growing country in the world between 1930 and 1995, with an average annual growth rate of 6.1 percent. By 2000, Brazil's per-capita income stood at R$6,500. While RN's per capita income is slightly above half the national average, it increased from 43 percent of the national average in 1947 to 47 percent in 1998, implying that RN's economy grew faster than that of Brazil for over half a century. This has also been true in recent years. Between 1990-1998, RN's income per capita showed a respectable trend growth rate of 3.0 percent. The close relationship between Brazil's economic growth and RN's economic progress in the last five decades reflects a response to common macroeconomic forces and external environment as well as the enormous influence of national policies and programs on RN's economy. However, the state can also implement policies and programs to stimulate growth and employment. For this purpose, an understanding of trends in state GDP and employment and of the sources of growth is important. RN's economy has undergone a rapid and welcome transformation from one dependent on salt, cotton, sugar, and cattle to one dominated by services. The service sector has increased its share of GDP from 40 percent in 1985 to 59 percent in 1998. Over this period, the share of industry declined from 50 to 34 percent and the share of agriculture fell from 9 to 7 percent, though its share of total employment remains relatively high at 18 percent, reflecting lower productivity of agricultural workers. The shares of services and industry in total employment are 53 and 29 percent, respectively.