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Brazil's in Crisis and This Blue-Collar Town Couldn't Be Happier

  • Manufacturing output atrophied during commodities frenzy
  • Now that currency collapsed, exporters see better times ahead
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Not many people in Brazil look back on the crisis-plagued years from the late 1980s to the early 1990s as a golden era. But the people of Franca do.

The country’s capital for men’s footwear is among large sections of Brazil that watched their manufacturing sectors atrophy in the emerging-market frenzy and commodities boom of the 2000s. Now the nation’s currency has collapsed, making Brazilian exports cheaper, and Franca is looking ahead to better days.