1/3/18: BRIC Manufacturing Sector ends 2017 with an upside

Quarterly Manufacturing Sector PMIs for BRIC economies have once again underperformed global indicators in 4Q 2017.

Global Manufacturing PMI for 4Q 2017 stood at 54.0, up on 53.0 in 3Q 2017 and marking the fastest rate of quarterly expansion in the sector on record (since 2Q 2013*). In comparison, BRIC Manufacturing quarterly PMI-based indicator stood at 51.6 in 4Q 2017, up on 51.0 in 3Q 2017. This marks the highest reading for the BRIC Manufacturing PMIs (quarterly basis) since 1Q 2013.

For individual BRIC economies:

Brazil Manufacturing Quarterly PMI measure was up at 52.4 in 4Q 2017, rising from 50.6 in 3Q 2017 and marking the third consecutive quarter of above 50.0 (nominal) readings. In statistical terms, 4Q 2017 was the first quarter with statistically significant growth signal since 1Q 2013, and marked the second fastest pace of expansion since 1Q 2011. With three consecutive quarters of above 50.0 nominal indicator readings, it is reasonable to assume that the Manufacturing sector recession of 3Q 2013-1Q 2017 is now over and the economy is moving into a new period of expansion.

Russia Manufacturing q-PMI measure slipped from 52.1 in 3Q 2017 to 51.5 in 4Q 2017. Russian Manufacturing has been posting distinctly weaker PMI readings in 2Q 2017 - 4Q 2017, with sharper pace of expansion of 4Q 2016 - 1Q 2017 being replaced by rather anaemic rates of growth since the start of 2Q 2017. This stands contrasted by Services sector that currently drives Russian economic growth. 

China Manufacturing posted q-PMI reading of 51.1 in 4Q 2017, marginally unchanged on 51.2 in 3Q 2017. Since 3Q 2016, Chinese Manufacturing was held within the pattern of weak growth, with q-PMIs ranging from 50.1 though 51.3. In fact, last time Chinese Manufacturing q-PMI reached above 51.3 was in 1Q 2013. Judging by PMIs, Chinese manufacturing is barely growing. Which continuously puts a big question mark over both the headline GDP figures coming out of China and the PMIs.

India Manufacturing qPMI jumped from 50.1 in 3Q 2017 to 52.5 in 4Q 2017, the highest rate in 12 quarters. Both Services (48.0) and Manufacturing (50.1) were very soft in 3Q 2017, and the to-date (through November 2017) reading for qPMI for Services sector (50.1) is still weak, so 4Q reading for Manufacturing qPMI is a welcome sign that things might be firming up on the growth side.

All, in, BRIC Manufacturing sector remains a weak contributor to Global growth. This weakness appears to be structural and consistent across a range of years. Dynamically, both Global and Manufacturing qPMIs are closely correlated and have been running in tandem since 2Q 2014.

*Please, note: my data for this indicator - not reported by Markit, but based on market’s monthly reports - goes only to 2Q 2013. Markit have repeatedly ignored my requests for data going back before that period, despite their claim that they assist independent academic researchers in gaining access to their data.