The paper reviews the sluggish growth and inclusive developments of the Brazilian economy in the last decade. The first section analyzes the macroeconomic performance pointing export growth as the engine of growth. The second evaluates social policies and their relationship with the improvements in the labor market. The third examines Brazilian policy reactions to the global crisis that managed to recover consumption but failed to sustain investment and growth. The discussion of challenges for a sustainable development concludes the paper. Investment in education and infrastructure are consensual policy advices but there are plenty of disagreements and controversies with regards to industrial policies, financing strategies and the role to be played by the public sector. 1. Introduction -- 2. The Brazilian macroeconomic performance in the last decade -- 3. Social achievements -- 4. Financial crisis and the recent slowdown in the economy -- 5. Prospect and challenges for sustainable development.