Category Archives: Brazil PMI

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.

3/3/16: BRIC Composite Activity – February

On a cumulative basis (based on Composite PMIs for each country), the BRIC economies as a group have posted a very disappointing performance in February 2016.

Note: for this index, 100.0 is a zero growth marker.

Russian economy Composite Indicator posted a positive upside surprise, rising from a contractionary reading of 96.8 in January to a weakly-expansionary reading of 101.2. 3mo average through February 2016, however, remains below 100 line at 97.9, which is weaker than the 3mo average through November 2015 at 100.3. The details of Russian Manufacturing sector woes are covered here:, while details of Russian Services and Composite PMIs upside are covered here:

As a result, Russian economy acted as a factor pushing up BRIC rates of growth in February:

In contrast with Russia, Chinese Composite Indicator posted a significant contraction in February, falling from 100.2 (zero growth) in January 2016 to 98.8 (weak contraction) in February. On a 3mo average basis, the index is now at 99.3 for the period through February 2016, up marginally on 98.9 reading for the 3months through November 2015, but down on 102.4 reading for the 3mo average through February 2015. Details of Chinese Manufacturing PMIs are covered here:, while details of Services and Composite PMIs are covered here:

India’s Composite Indicator fell from 106.6 in January to 102.4 in February, signalling major slowdown in the rate of economic expansion. 3mo average through February 2016 is at 104.1, reflecting robust growth in January, and up on 102.9 3mo average through November 2015, but below 105.3 reading for the 3 months period through February 2015. The weakness in the Indian economic growth is highlighted by comparison to the historical average, which stands at 109.5.

Per Markit: “February data showed that services firms and goods producers alike registered weaker increases in activity. …Falling to a three-month low of 51.4 in February, from 54.3 in January, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei Services Business Activity Index highlighted a softer expansion of output that was only marginal. Where growth was seen, businesses reported higher levels of incoming new work. Although new orders at services firms continued to rise in February, the rate of expansion eased to the weakest since last November as firms reportedly faced strong competition for new work during the month. A quicker increase in order book volumes in the manufacturing economy was insufficient to prevent growth of private sector new orders from easing to a three-month low.”

Conditions in Indian Manufacturing are covered in detail here:

Meanwhile, Brazil remained the sickest economy in the BRIC group. Composite Indicator for Brazilian economy sunk to an all-time low of 78.0 from an already recessionary 90.2 in January. As the result, 3mo average for Brazil’s Composite Indicator was at 85.3, down on already extremely weak 86.6 recorded over the 3 months through November 2015 and on 100.1 3mo average through February 2015.

According to Markit: “The downturn in the Brazilian economy took a noticeable turn for the worse in February. Business activity, new orders and employment all fell at, or near to, the fastest rates since the combined manufacturing and service survey began in March 2007. Companies continued to link the adverse operating environment to the ongoing economic, financial and political crises. …Accelerated downturns were registered at manufacturers and service providers alike, although the slump at services companies was especially severe. At 36.9 in February, down from 44.4 in January, the seasonally adjusted Markit Services Business Activity Index posted its lowest reading in the nine-year survey history. Business activity has fallen in each of the past 12 months.”

Brazil’s Manufacturing PMIs were covered in detail here:

The summary of changes in both manufacturing and Services sectors across all BRIC economies is here:

Thus, overall, global GDP-weighted BRIC PMI Indicator (computed by me) fell to 98.4 - signalling moderate or mild contraction, down from January reading of 100.6. The Index is now registering sub-100 readings in seven out of nine last months. Worse, BRIC economies last posted a statistically significant reading for growth back in December 2014. On a 3mo basis, 3 months average through February 2016 is at 99.1, which is basically unchanged on 3mo average through November 2015 (99.0) and significantly lower than the 3mo average through January 2015 (101.8). Starting with February 2015, the index has been averaging zero growth.

3/3/16: China Services & Composite PMI: February

China Services PMI fell to 51.2 in February, from January’s six-month high of 52.4, pointing to a much slower rate of growth than the historical series average of 55.0. This comes on foot of Manufacturing PMI registering an outright contraction in February, with the rate of reduction quickening to the steepest since September 2015 (details here:

Services PMI 3mo average through February was 51.3, which is basically flat on 51.2 recored in 3mo period through November 2015 and lower than 3mo average through February 2015 (52.4).

Per Markit: “New business growth also slowed across the service sector in February after a solid rise at the start of the year. Furthermore, the latest increase in new orders was weaker than the long-run trend and only modest, with some panellists commenting on relatively subdued client demand. New orders continued to decline at manufacturing companies, and at a slightly quicker rate than at the start of 2016.”

After posting a weak stabilisation in January (at 50.1), the Composite PMI fell to a recessionary level of 49.4 in February, indicating “a renewed fall in total Chinese business activity in February… to signal a marginal rate of contraction.”
 On a 3mo basis, 3mo average through February 2016 was at 49.7, up on 3mo average through November 2015 (49.5) and down on 3mo average through February 2015 (51.2). Again, last six months we saw averages well below historical average (52.9).

Per Markit, “slower increases in both activity and new orders contributed to a weaker expansion of service sector staff numbers in February. Companies that reported higher staff numbers generally mentioned hiring new employees in line with new order growth. Job shedding meanwhile intensified across the manufacturing sector in February, with the latest decline in workforce numbers the sharpest since January 2009. As a result, composite employment fell at a rate that, though modest, was the quickest in six months.”

This clearly signals that troubles are not over for Chinese economy and also suggests that currently projected rates of growth for the world’s second largest economy are way off the mark. Composite PMIs have now posted sub-zero growth signals in five out of the last seven months, with one other month reading being basically consistent with zero growth. On a Composite indicator basis, China is now the second weakest economy in the BRIC group after Brazil, with Russia overtaking itm having posted a composite index reading of 50.6 in February. Over the last 12 months, the same situation prevailed in July-September 2015, and in November 2015 the two countries were tied for the second worst performance reading.

3/3/16: Russia Services & Composite PMI: February

Russian Services PMI came in with surprising upside that bucked the trend in Manufacturing (see links here:, posting 50.9 reading in February, up from 47.1 in January. On a 3mo basis, however, 3mo average through February remains below 50.0 expansion line at 48.6, which is actually poorer than 49.6 3mo average through November 2015, although much better than 43.7 3mo average through February 2015. In simple terms, February uptick in growth in Services is fragile, unconfirmed, and at this stage does not constitute a robust signal of economic stabilisation.

Per Markit: “Russian service providers reported a slight increase in their business activity levels during February, driven by an expansion in new orders. However, a rise in new projects could not prevent a further sharp deterioration in outstanding business in the sector. Meanwhile, job cuts were evident while price pressures continued to persist.” Still, “the latest increase ends a four month sequence of contraction. Panel members partly linked rising output to an increase in new export orders, the result of a depreciating rouble.”

Net summary is: February reading for Services is encouraging, but is not yet consistent with sustained stabilisation in the economy. 

This has been confirmed by the Russia’s Composite Output Index which also returned to expansion territory in February for the first time in three months. Per Markit: “however at 50.6, up from January’s 48.4, the latest upturn was relatively weak.” On a 3mo basis, the Composite index is still below 50 at 49.0, which is lower than Composite Index average for the 3 months through November 2015 (50.2) although strongly ahead of the abysmal reading for the 3mo period through February 2015 (46.2).

“A higher level of new business was reported by Russian service providers during February, the first increase in five months. However, the pace of
growth was relatively weak. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the expansion reflected the introduction of new products across the sector. Meanwhile, a slight rise in volumes of new orders were reported by manufacturers this month.”

Again, on the net, Composite PMI figures show the return to growth to be unconvincing at this stage. We will need at least 3 consecutive months of above 50 readings to make any serious judgement as to the reversal of recessionary dynamics in Russian economy.

2/3/16: BRIC Manufacturing PMI: February

BRIC manufacturing sector conditions have posted major deterioration in February 2016 compared to January, marking another ugly month for world’s largest emerging economies.

Russian Manufacturing PMI for February posted a rather unsurprising and relatively mild deterioration from already marginally-recessionary reading in January. Details are covered here:

Chinese Manufacturing PMI continued to tank in February, with country Manufacturing sector remaining the weakest of all BRICs, save Brazil, every month since July 2015. The details are covered here:

Meanwhile, Brazil’s manufacturing recession “extended to February, with a further drop in incoming new work leading companies to lower production and cut jobs again. Such was the extent of the downturn that firms shed jobs at the second-fastest pace since April 2009,” per Markit.

Brazil’s Manufacturing PMI fell from an ugly 47.4 in January to a horrific 44.5 in February, marking 13th consecutive sub-50 reading. On a 3mo average basis, Brazil’s Manufacturing remained in a contraction (45.8) over the 3mo period through February 2016, just as it was in the contraction (44.0 average) in the 3mo period through November 2015. In 3mo period through February 2015, PMI averaged 50.2.

Per Markit: “Amid evidence of an increasingly fragile economy and a subsequent fall in demand, the level of new business received by Brazilian manufacturers decreased in February. Having accelerated to the fastest since November 2015, the pace of contraction was steep. As a consequence, companies scaled down output again. Production dipped at a sharp and accelerated rate.
Supported by the depreciating real, new foreign orders for Brazilian manufactured goods improved for the third straight month in February. That said, new business from abroad increased at a modest pace overall.”

All in, Brazil remains BRIC’s weakest economy in Manufacturing sector terms every month since February 2015.

As in previous months, India was the only BRIC economy with Manufacturing PMI reading above 50.0 marker. In February 2016, Indian Manufacturing PMI stood at 51.1, unchanged in January 2016. The positive impact of this, however, is weak, at 51.1 marks relatively low (by historical comparisons) growth in the Indian Manufacturing sector.

Per Markit: “Manufacturing business conditions in India continued to improve, with new orders, exports, output and purchasing activity all rising in February. However, a faster expansion in new business inflows failed to lift growth of output and workforce numbers were left broadly unchanged again. PMI
data also highlighted a weaker rise in costs and the first reduction in selling prices since September 2015… Reflecting sustained growth of new work, Indian manufacturers raised their production volumes in February. That said, the rate of expansion eased since January and was marginal overall.”

On a 3mo MA basis, Indian Manufacturing PMI averaged 50.4 in 3 months through February 2016, down on 50.7 average for the 3mo period through November 2015 and down massively on 52.9 3mo average through February 2015.

Overall, India remains the best performing economy in the BRIC group, even though its Manufacturing sector growth is now in slow growth mode since September 2015.

In summary, in February, BRIC group of world’s largest emerging markets economies has posted another deeply disappointing performance across the Manufacturing sector. This compounds adverse headwinds in these economies in January and signals strong possibility of the BRICs exerting a significant negative pressure on global growth.