All posts by Constantin Gurdgiev

9/10/18: BRIC Composite PMIs 3Q 2018: A Tale of Growth Slowdown


Previous posts on 3Q 2018 PMIs have covered:

  1. BRIC Manufacturing PMIs: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2018/10/31018-global-pmis-tanked-in-3q-2018.html;
  2. BRIC Services PMIs: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2018/10/91018-bric-services-pmis-3q-2018-slower.html; and
  3. Global Composite PMIs: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2018/10/31018-global-pmis-tanked-in-3q-2018.html.


Now, let’s take a look at the BRIC Composite PMIs that combine Services and Manufacturing sectors growth signals. As Global Composite PMI signalled slowing growth momentum in the global economy, BRIC Composite PMIs all trailed global growth indicator.

Brazil Composite PMI fell deeper into contraction territory in 3Q 2018 (48.5) compared to 2Q 2018 (49.1), marking the fourth consecutive quarter of contraction in the economy, as signalled by the combination of PMI indices in Services and Manufacturing sectors. 3Q 2018 was the lowest Composite PMI reading for the South America’s largest economy in 6 consecutive quarters.

Russia Composite PMI slipped from 53.4 in 2Q 2018 to 52.4 in 3Q 2018, marking slowdown in the rate of economic expansion. This was the lowest reading in Russia Composite PMIs since 2Q 2016. Despite this, Russia Composite PMI was the second largest in the BRIC group (marginally below India’s 52.5 reading).

China Composite PMI posted a modest decline in the growth rate falling from 52.5 in 2Q 2018 to 52.1 in 3Q 2018, the latter reading marking the lowest rate of expansion in 3 quarters. In fact, China Composite PMIs have been singling weak growth dynamics in every quarter since 4Q 2016 - something that is yet to be reflected in the official growth figures for the country.

India Composite PMI bucked the BRIC trend and rose from 51.9 in 2Q 2018 to 52.5 in 3Q 2018, for the first statistically significant growth signal in 5 quarters. Despite this, growth momentum in India remains below global PMI levels.

Global Composite PMI declined from 54.0 in 2Q 2018 to 53.3 in 3Q 2018.




Overall, slowing global growth momentum is being matched by a slowdown in the BRIC economies. Both Manufacturing and Services sectors of the BRIC economies are underperforming their Global counterparts and the overall trend is toward declining global and BRIC growth.

9/10/18: BRIC Services PMIs 3Q 2018: Slower Growth Ahead


Having covered Global Composite PMIs for 3Q 2018 here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2018/10/31018-global-pmis-tanked-in-3q-2018.html as well as BRIC Manufacturing PMIs here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2018/10/11018-bric-manufacturing-pmi-dips-down.html, here is an update on BRIC Services PMIs for 3Q 2018.

In summary: things are getting less promising for 2H 2018 growth in world's largest emerging and middle-income economies.

Brazil Services PMI posted second consecutive quarter of contraction in 3Q 2018, falling from 48.8 in 2Q 2018 to 47.9 in 3Q 2018. Since 3Q 2014, Brazil's Services PMIs posted readings below 50.0 mark (zero growth mark) in all, but one quarter (1Q 2018 when the PMI was at 51.0). Importantly, 3Q reading was statistically significantly below 50.0 mark.

Russia Services PMI fell marginally from 54.0 in 2Q 2018 to 53.6 in 3Q 2018, signalling weaker, but statistically-speaking, still positive growth. PMIs fell in all three last quarters from the 4-quarters peak of 56.0 in 4Q 2017. Q3 2018 was the lowest growth reading in 9 consecutive quarters. Despite this, Russia Service sector growth signalled by the PMIs is the fastest of all BRIC economies.

China Services PMI also fell to 52.6 in 3Q 2018 compared to 53.2 in 1Q 2018, marking the third consecutive decline in PMIs. China posted the second highest rate of growth in Services sectors amongst the BRIC economies.

India Services PMI rose, breaking the BRIC trend, in 3Q 2018 to 52.2 (weak growth) from 51.2 in 2Q 2018, marking the second consecutive quarter of above-50 readings. This marks the strongest growth signal in 8 quarters, albeit the level of PMI is anaemic.

Overall BRIC Services PMI computed by myself based on Markit data and global economy weights for BRIC countries, has moderated from 52.5 in 2Q 2018 to 52.2 in 3Q 2018, suggesting weakening growth momentum in the Services sector of the BRIC economies. This development was in line with the Global Services PMI movements (down from 54.2 in 2Q 2018 to 53.5 in 3Q 2018). For BRICs, Services PMI is now at the lowest reading in three quarters, and for the Global Services PMI -  in 7 consecutive quarters.


All BRIC economies Services sectors are now trailing (Brazil, India and China) or barely matching (Russia at 0.1 points higher) the Global Services PMI.

9/10/18: Russian Growth, ‘Putin;’s Call’ and the Middle Income Growth Trap


Quick chart showing relative underperformance in the Russian economy in recent years, incorporating latest 2018 forecasts:


The above clearly shows that since 2013, Russian economic growth has statistically underperformed the 'Putin's Call' levels of growth, defined as rates of growth in real GDP achieved during the period after the immediate post-1998 crisis recovery and into 2012, omitting the period of the Global Great Recession impact of 2009. 'Putin's Call' rate of growth is set at around 6% pa, with the 95% confidence interval around this at [2.83, 9.15].

The lower bound of this confidence interval is important. While no one can expect the Russian economy to grow at the 'Putin's Call' levels of 6%, let alone the upper bound levels of 9.15%, Russian economy does require longer-term average growth rates at around 2.8-3%, slightly above the lower bound of the 'Putin's Call'. As of consensus forecasts forward, the economy is expected to expand at around 1.5-1.8 percent pa over 2018-2023, which implies significant cumulative underperformance relative to medium term growth requirement.

Fiscally, structurally lower rates of growth are sustainable for Russia, but socio-politically, Russia needs serious acceleration in its growth rates to offset adverse demographic pressures (rising pensions dependencies) and global economic pressures (much faster growth rates in the Emerging Markets). The lower bound of the 'Putin's Call' and Russian economy's sub-par performance relative to it is a clear illustration of the Middle Income Growth Trap that Russia has entered ca 2010 post-GFC and the Great Recession (see https://www.global-economic-symposium.org/knowledgebase/escaping-the-middle-income-trap for the definition and here http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2015/04/18415-escaping-middle-income-trap.html for discussion. My earlier post on the subject for Russia here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2014/01/2212014-russia-and-middle-income-trap.html).

3/10/18: Global PMIs tanked in 3Q 2018


While Markit continue to publish Services and Composite PMIs for BRIC economies, here is a quick update on Global PMIs for 3Q 2018 which are now out:

  • Global Manufacturing PMI averaged 52.5 in 3Q 2018, down from 53.2 in 2Q 2018. This is the lowest reading for the index in 8 quarters, signalling slowest growth in global manufacturing sector since 3Q 2016. It also marks the second consecutive quarter of declining Global Manufacturing PMI.
  • Global Services PMI averaged 53.5 in 3Q 2018, the lowest reading in 7 consecutive quarters, matching the lowest point in 8 consecutive quarters. This marked the first quarter of declines in Services sector activity, and the drop was sharp: down from 54.2 in 2Q 2018.
  • Global Composite PMI averaged 53.3 in 3Q 2018, down from 54.0 in 2Q 2018 and 54.2 in 1Q 2018, marking the lowest reading in 8 consecutive quarters. The slowdown in the overall global economic indictor has also been sharp in 3Q 2018 and most of this slowdown took place in August and September.


Overall, these are not great signs for the global economy. 

For BRIC Manufacturing PMIs analysis for 3Q 2018, see here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2018/10/11018-bric-manufacturing-pmi-dips-down.html. BRIC Services PMIs and BRIC Composite PMIs analysis is to follow, so stay tuned.