Category Archives: Brazil Services PMI

7/1/20: BRIC Services PMIs 4Q 2019

BRIC Services PMIs have been a mixed bag in 4Q 2019, beating overall Global Services PMI, but showing similar weaknesses and renewed volatility.

Brazil Services PMI slipped  in 4Q 2019, falling from 51.8 in 3Q 2019 to 51.0. Statistically, this level of activity is consistent with zero growth conditions. In the last four quarters, Brazil's services sector activity ranged between a high of 52.3 and a low of 48.6, showing lack of sustained growth momentum in the sector.

Russia Services sector posted a surprising, and contrary to Manufacturing, robust rise from 52.0 in 3Q 2019 to 54.8 in 4Q 2019, reaching the highest level in three quarters. Statistically, the index has been in an expansion territory in every quarter starting with 2Q 2016. 4Q 2019 almost tied for the highest reading in 2019 overall, with 1Q 2019 marginally higher at 54.9. For 2019 overall, Services PMI averaged 53.3, which is below 2018 average of 54.6 with the difference being statistically significant.

China Services PMI ended 4Q 2019 at 52.4 quarter average, up on 51.7 in 3Q 2019. Nonetheless, 4Q 2019 reading was the second weakest in 8 consecutive quarters. The level of 4Q 2019 activity, however, was statistically above the 50.0 zero growth line. In 2019, China Services PMI averaged 52.5 - a slight deterioration on 53.1 average for 2018, signalling slower growth in the sector last year compared to 2018.

India Services PMI averaged 51.7 in 4Q 2019, statistically identical to 51.6 in 3Q 2019. Over the last 4 quarters, the index averaged 51.5, which is effectively identical to 51.6 average for 2018 as a whole. Both readings are barely above the statistical upper bound for 50.0 line, suggesting weak growth conditions, overall.

As the chart above indicates, BRIC Services PMI - based on global GDP weightings for BRIC countries - was indistinguishable from the Global Services PMI. Both averaged 52.2 in 2019, with BRIC services index slipping from 52.6 in 2018 and Global services index falling from 53.8 in 2018. On a quarterly basis, BRIC services PMI averaged 52.3 in 4Q 2019, compared to 51.7 in 3Q 2019 - both statistically significantly above 50.0; for Global Services PMI, comparable figures were 52.0 in 3Q and 51.6 in 4Q 2019, again showing statistically significant growth.

11/9/16: BRIC PMIs: Services & Manufacturing – August

With full 3Q 2016 update on PMIs coming up relatively soon, and having not done monthly updates on the time series for some time now, here is a quick summary of BRIC Manufacturing and Services PMIs through August 2016:

On Manufacturing side:

  • Brazil remains firmly stuck under 50.0 and the talk about improvements in the economy is highly premature. The rate of contraction did slow down a bit in recent months, but getting worse more slowly is not equivalent to getting better. With 19 consecutive months of sub-50 readings, the manufacturing side of Brazil's economy remains deeply sick. Last time Brazil's manufacturing posted statistically significant growth was in March 2013. Ouch!
  • Russia has been posting volatile manufacturing PMIs headlines for some time now. August reversion of PMI to 50.8 - statistically indistinguishable from 50.0 - offers no change to this pattern. That said, Russian Manufacturing appears to be stable, as opposed to contracting. Last 3mo average is at 50.6 - which, statistically, signals zero growth. This compares somewhat positively against 48.6 3mo average through May 2016. Overall, Russian manufacturing has not posted statistically significant growth reading - based on PMIs - since December 2014, with exception of one month (June 2016).
  • China's Manufacturing PMI posted a non-contractionary reading of 50.0 (zero growth) in August, down from 50.6 in July. In statistical terms, Chines manufacturing posted contraction or zero growth readings for 25 consecutive months now.
  • India continued to post significantly positive growth in manufacturing, based on PMIs. Over the last 8 months index reading stayed above 50.0 (statistically above 50.0 in 4 months out of 8). Current expansionary period in Indian manufacturing is now 8 months long and strengthening.
Chart below summarises trends in Manufacturing PMIs

The above shows that Manufacturing sectors are converging toward growth recovery in Russia and China, while India remains well-ahead of the rest of BRIC economies in terms of positive growth momentum. Brazil is on a clear downward trend and has decoupled from the other BRICs.

Services sectors:

As the above illustrates:

  • Brazil services sectors posted yet another month of declining growth, with rate of decline accelerating in August compared to July. This marks 18th consecutive month of negative growth in the services sector in the country. As with manufacturing, country services have been performing extremely poorly since March 2013, when structural (long-term trend) slowdown in growth kicked in.
  • Russia services sectors posted 7th consecutive month of above 50.0 readings, signalling relatively strong (albeit slower than in July) recovery. Over the last 6 months, Russia posted statistically significant growth in 5 months, which is rather solid sector recovery compared to the same period of 2015.
  • Chinese services sectors never posted a reading below 50.0 in the entire history of the time series. However, in August, the series reading of 52.1 was stronger the July reading and marked the third time the series were statistically above 50.0 over the last 6 months. This suggests some firming up in the services sector growth in China - a welcome relief to the rather pessimistic outlook projected by the PMIs in previous months.
  • India services PMI rose strongly to statistically significant reading of 54.7 in August, marking 14th straight month of above 50.0 readings (in level terms). August was the third month out of the last 6 months with statistically significant growth reading.

Just as with manufacturing, BRIC services sectors posted continuous improvements in trading conditions in India, China and Russia over the recent months. Brazil, however, remains significant drag on BRIC growth with no signs of convergence to the rest of the BRIC economies in sight.

Overall: both Manufacturing and Services PMIs suggest that BRIC economies as a group continue to act as a moderating factor on global growth trends. Although no longer dragging the global economy into growth recession, the block of largest emerging markets economies is not exactly propelling world growth to higher trend levels. However, more analysis on this later, with Composite indicators.

3/2/16: BRIC Services PMIs for January: Some Rays of Hope

In the previous two posts, I covered

Now, let’s take a look at the Services PMIs for all BRIC economies, followed by a post on their Composite PMIs.

Russian Services PMI for January 2016 came in with a hugely disappointing reading of 47.1 from already poor 47.8 recorded in December. On a 3mo average basis, the index is now at 48.2, worse than already poor 49.4 average for the 3 months through October 2015, although, as expected - well above the abysmal 44.7 average for the 3mo period through January 2015. The Services sector has now posted sub-50 PMI readings in 4 consecutive months, with deteriorating readings in 3 consecutive months, signalling no respite to the Services sector contraction.

China Services PMI came in at a surprising uplift in January, reaching 52.4 - the highest reading since August 2015, and up on 50.2 in December. This move was surprising since Chinese services PMI has been deteriorating every month from October 2015. As a reminder, the downturn in the manufacturing sector hit Chinese Manufacturing PMI hard with index falling to a 3-mo low in January and staying below 50.0 line of zero growth for 11 months in a row.

Brazil Services PMI remained the weakest of all BRIC economies at 44.4 in January up on a truly abysmal 43.5 in December. 3mo average for Brazil Services PMI was at 44.5, which is somewhat better than 43.2 average for the 3mo period through October 2015, but worse than 48.7 3mo average through January 2015. Brazil’s Services PMIs have now been below 50 line for 11 months in a row.

According to Markit: “Current downturn longer than 08-09 crisis… Activity decreased in all six monitored categories, with the quickest contraction seen at Renting & Business Activities. Leading services output to fall was another decline in incoming new work. Inflows of new business dipped at a softer pace, but one that remained sharp.” As in the case with Russian economy, inflationary pressures, primarily driven by currency devaluations, have created adverse headwinds for Services sector firms in Brazil. “January data pointed to a build-up of inflationary pressures in Brazil’s service economy. A weaker currency (particularly against the US dollar) combined with higher utility bills had reportedly resulted in an overall increase in cost burdens. The rate of inflation climbed to a three-month high and was well above the long-run series trend. As a consequence, service providers raised their average tariffs again, and at the fastest pace since October.”

Brazil’s economy not only continuing to contract, but remains the weakest of all BRIC economies, in Services sector terms since April 2015.

India Services PMI posted an impressive rise from already rather robust 53.6 in December to 54.3 in January 2016. The 3mo average has reached 52.7 in the period through January 2016, which is stronger than 52.1 recorded for the period through October 2015 and ahead of 52.0 3mo average through January 2015. Overall, this was the highest Services PMI reading for India since January 2013 and marks second consecutive month of PMIs acceleration. With this, Indian economy clearly has shaken off some of the downward momentum on growth that was building up in May-September 2015 and again roared it’s head in November 2015.

Per Markit: “Posting a 19-month high… Services Business Activity Index pointed to a marked and accelerated expansion of activity across the sector. Growth was noted in four of the six monitored categories, the exceptions being Hotels & Restaurants and Transport & Storage. Underpinning the overall increase in services output was a seventh successive monthly expansion of new business inflows. Having accelerated to the joint-fastest since June 2014, the growth rate was marked. Anecdotal evidence highlighted strengthening underlying demand and improved weather conditions.”

Overall, January marks the second month of India’s Services PMI leading other BRIC economies to the upside.

Chart and summary table to illustrate:

3/9/15: BRIC Servies PMI: August

BRIC Services PMIs are out, so here is the summary of latest changes:

  • Brazil Services PMI rose to 44.8 in August from July's 39.1. This marks seventh consecutive month of Services reading below 50.0. July fire was horrific and cam on top of abysmal 39.9 reading in June. August reading is still below 50, but is now the second highest in 7 months. In 12 months from August 2014, the index posted above 50 reading in only two months. This confirms deep-running recessionary dynamic in Brazil's economy.
  • Russia Services PMI came in at 49.1, below 50.0 and down on 51.6 in July. Details covered here. As noted, this is a disappointing reading signalling weak contraction in the Services side of the Russian economy, compounding sharper contraction in Manufacturing.
  • China Services PMI posted 51.5 in August, down from 53.8 in July. This index has never reached below 50.0 in its history, so 51.5 is a weak reading overall. In fact, this is the slowest pace of expansion signalled by the Services sector since July 2014. Taken together with rather sharp ongoing contraction in Manufacturing, the Services PMI for China suggests that current rate of economic growth in the country is well below the target of 7% annual rate of growth targeted by the Chinese Government. Most likely, stripping out financials (supported by the Government aggressive intervention in the stock markets in recent months), China's Services PMI would be in much worse shape.
  • India Services PMI came in at 51.8 - signalling acceleration in growth from 50.8 in July. This marks second consecutive month of above 50.0 readings for this index. 

Some Markit comments on the above:

For China: "The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index …signalled the slowest increase in activity in the current 13-month sequence of expansion. Total new order growth at service sector companies also weakened in August, with the latest increase in new business the slowest seen in just over a year. According to anecdotal evidence, relatively subdued market conditions had dampened client demand in the latest survey period."

For India: "The seasonally adjusted Nikkei Services Business Activity Index [pointed] to a faster, although modest, expansion in output. Activity growth was recorded in three of the six monitored categories, namely, Hotels & Restaurants, Post & Telecommunication and ‘Other Services’. Leading services activity to increase was a further rise in incoming new work. According to panellists, higher demand coupled with capacity improvements and increased marketing all had contributed to the latest expansion in new business. Despite quickening since July, the rate of growth was moderate. While manufacturing new work rose at a weaker pace than in July, growth nevertheless outpaced that seen at their services counterparts."

CONCLUSION: BRIC economies are suffering from the twin effects on internal structural weaknesses (domestic markets and policies) and from lack of external demand growth. These leading emerging market economies are now solidly in a recessionary dynamic (Brazil and Russia), and near hard landing territory (China). India continues to break trend with the rest of BRICs, although this remains to be seen how long its economy can sustain this decoupling. 

6/4/15: BRIC Services PMIs & Overall Activity in Q1 2015

BRIC Services PMIs (published by Markit) are finally out, with the last two countries instalments today, so time to look at the Q1 2015 data. And from the top level view, things are not encouraging:

  • Brazil Services PMI slipped from 52.3 in February (a 14-months high that was a huge upside surprise) to a 70-months low of 47.9 in March - a massive fall. On a quarterly basis, things are not as bad, but that is all down to February reading. 3mo average for Q1 is at 49.5 - still contractionary/zero growth, compared to 49.3 Q4 1024 average and against weak growth recorded in Q1 2014 (50.5 average). In last 8 months, Brazil managed to post only two months of Services PMIs above 50, with only one month reading being statistically significantly above 50.0. In short, we now have a sign of deepening slowdown in the economy, based on both Manufacturing and Services surveys.
  • Russia Services PMI was predictably weak at 46.1 in March, although a gain on totally abysmal 41.3 reading in February. 3mo average through Q1 2015 is at 43.8 and this is well below already contractionary 47.1 average through Q4 2-14. Q1 2014 registered a weak contraction/static growth of 49.6. March reading was the strongest in 5 months, but overall Services side of the Russian economy has posted below 50 survey readings continuously over 6 months now. This, coupled with another (4th monthly) below 50 reading in Manufacturing suggests that there is an ongoing significant recession in the economy and that this has accelerated in Q1 2015 compared to Q4 2014.
  • China Services PMI remained in relatively moderate growth territory in March (at 52.3 against 52.0 in February) and 3mo average for Q1 2015 is at 52.0, weaker than Q4 2014 average of 53.2, but up on Q1 2014 average of 51.2. China never posted below 50 PMI in Services before , so we are left tracking relative weaknesses in positive growth signals here. Weak improvement in Services survey is offset, in China's case, by strong deterioration in Manufacturing index which fell below 50 in March.
  • India Services PMI was somewhat weaker in March 2015 at 53.0 compared to February 53.9 reading. Still, this marks the second highest reading in 9 months. India's Services PMI average for Q1 2015 is at 53.1 - a major improvement on 51.3 average through Q4 2014 and a big gain y/y - in Q1 2014, Services PMI was averaging only 48.2. March marked 11th month of above 50 readings for Indian Services surveys. India is the only BRIC country that managed to post m/m growth (above 50 readings) across both sectors: Manufacturing and Services.

Chart below shows Services surveys dynamics:

Table below summarises changes in Manufacturing and Services PMIs:

Pooling together Services and Manufacturing surveys data, chart below shows the overall BRIC trend in growth. March came in with a slowdown of overall economic activity across the block of the largest emerging markets economies and this slowdown took place in the already weak growth environment. While the series remain on an upward trend established from the local low attained in July 2013, this trend is no longer convincing and since June 2014, there has been a pronounced downward sub-trend. This does not bode well for the global economy.