Category Archives: BRIC PMIs

5/5/15: BRIC Manufacturing PMI: Further Growth Slowdown in April

BRIC manufacturing PMIs (Markit) are out for April, and the signs are poor in terms of economic growth prospects for the block of the four largest emerging economies.

  • Brazil manufacturing PMI came in at 46.0 in April, down from already abysmal 46.2 in March, singling deepening and accelerating contraction. This the the third consecutive month of Manufacturing PMI below 50.0. 3mo average is at 47.3 and previous 3mo average (through January 2015) is at 49.9. The weakness in Brazil manufacturing sector performance is not new: in 3mo through April 2014 the index reading was just 50.1. Weak growth or contraction (below 51.0) has been recorded every month since March 2013. As of April, Brazil has posted the lowest monthly and 3mo average readings for Manufacturing PMIs for all BRIC countries.
  • Russian Manufacturing PMI posted a slight improvement in April, rising to 48.9 from 48.1. Nonetheless, April was the fifth consecutive month of sub-50 readings and the 'improvement' is reflective of a slowdown in the rate of contraction, not a reversal of contraction. 3mo average through April is at 48.9 which is still worse than the 3mo average through January 2015 (49.4) and only marginally better than 3mo average through April 2014 (48.4). Last time Russian manufacturing PMI reading was in healthy territory was November 2014 when it posted a surprising reading of 51.7, but overall, weak performance can be traced back to July 2013.
  • Chinese Manufacturing PMI continued to post contraction in the sector coming in at 48.9 in April, marking worsening in the growth conditions compared to 49.6 reading in March and the second consecutive month of sub-50 readings. 3mo average is now at 49.7, marginally weaker than 49.8 3mo average through January 2015. Current 3mo average is, however, stronger than 48.2 average for the 3 months through April 2014.
  • India was the only BRIC economy that managed to sustain above-50 reading for the Manufacturing PMI. However, at 51.3 in April, the PMI is still down on 52.1 in March. This marks 18th consecutive monthly above-50 reading for the series.

Overall, April data indicates significantly adverse conditions in BRIC manufacturing, with Brazil being by far the worst performer in the group both in terms of monthly reading and 3mo average. As the chart above shows, excluding India, BRIC Manufacturing PMIs trend to the downside from mid-2014 levels with Brazil readings at the worst levels since September 2011, Russia continuing to perform at the levels consistent with the worst economic slowdown since October 2008-July 2009, China showing renewed weaknesses consistent with overall zero growth trend present since around Q2 2013. India bucked the BRIC pattern by posting a positive growth trend since Q4 2013.

7/4/15: BRIC PMIs via Markit

, it is commonly said, is the highest form of ... 

And so Markit now releases a 'summary' of BRIC PMIs... not quite in a full release, but...

Useful... and you can read more in-depth analysis of BRIC Services PMIs here: and on Manufacturing PMIs here:

Ah, the perils of doing analysis in the age when the big boys follow... As always, thanks to Markit for publishing at least few remaining headline numbers of PMIs.

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.

2/4/15: BRIC Manufacturing PMI: March Marks Further Slowdown in Growth

Markit released Manufacturing PMI for India, so here is a full update on Manufacturing sector indicators across the BRIC economies:

  • Brazil Manufacturing PMI fell to 46.2 in March from 49.6 in February, marking the second consecutive month of sub-50 readings. 3mo average through March was 48.8 against 3mo average through December 2014 at 49.3 and 3mo average through March 2014 at 50.6. The trend is down and getting worse. Brazil registered the sharpest rate of contraction in PMI of all BRIC economies.
  • Russia Manufacturing PMI also came in at disappointing 48.1, down from 49.7 in February, marking the 4th consecutive month of sub-50 readings. Russia posted the second sharpest contraction in manufacturing of all BRIC economies and the sharpest on a 3mo average basis. 3mo average through March was 48.5, down from 50.3 for the 3 months through December 2014, but up on 48.3 3mo average through March 2014.
  • China Manufacturing PMI came in at 49.6 in March, the first reading below 50.0 after 50.7 was registered in February 2015. However, over the last 6 months, Chinese manufacturing posted 3 months of sub-50 readings and one month of 50.0 reading. 3mo average through March stood at 50.0 - basically zero growth signal, against 3mo average through December 2014 at 50.1 (again, zero growth) and 3mo average through March 2014 of 48.7.
  • India posted the only rise in PMI and the only case of manufacturing PMI above 50.0. March reading was 52.1, a gain on 51.2 in February, marking 17th consecutive month of above-50 readings. 3mo average through March was 52.1, which is poorer than 3mo average through December 2014 (52.6) but an improvement year-on-year (3mo average through March 2014 was 51.7).
Chart and table to summarise:

Overall, with exception of India, all BRIC Manufacturing PMIs are now below 50.0 and all are trending down since July 2014 on. Brazil is now the worst performing country in the group, for the second month in a row.

Data presented by Markit signals a deepening slowdown in March compared to February in the group of core emerging markets, which does not bode well for global growth outlook.

4/3/15: Composite Activity Indicators for BRIC & Russia: February

Having covered Manufacturing PMIs ( for BRICs and Services PMIs (, let's take a look at the data for combined metrics of two sectors.

First, table below summarises the changes in Manufacturing and Services PMIs across all BRICs:

Markit - the source of both PMI data sets - also reports Composite PMI of their own. My data is based on same inputs but takes a more simple approach of combining the two data points for each country. This allows me to take each economy aggregate performance across the sectors and group these economies into BRIC group by weighing their combined PMIs score by each economy's relative position in the global economy.

Here are the results:

And for BRICs excluding Russia:

The above charts show two things:

  1. BRICs overall contribution to global growth is positive but weak, although it registered an improvement in February 2015 compared to January.
  2. Russia acts as a drag on global and BRICs growth. Major divergence between Russia and other BRICs started in January 2014, which, incidentally tells us that the talk about Russia not belonging to BRIC group on the basis of some structural or trend considerations is bonkers. Until January 2014, co-movement between BRICs ex-Russia and Russia is very strong and divergence from January 2014 on is clearly linked to geopolitical crisis and oil price collapse, rather than due to structural decoupling between BRICs ex-Russia and Russia.