7/2/17: BRIC Services PMIs: Supporting Global Growth

BRIC Services PMIs for January signal continued expansion on world’s largest emerging economies.

Brazil Services PMI remained at a disappointing 45.1 in January, same as in December 2016, implying relatively steep rate of economic contraction in the sector. This marks 23rd consecutive month of sub-50 readings for the indicator, almost on par with 24 months-long sub-50 readings run for Manufacturing. Current 3mo moving average for Services PMI is at 44.9, marginally up on 44.0 3mo average for the previous period and on 44.5 3mo average through January 2016. Current 3mo average for Services is in line with the 45.1 3mo average for Manufacturing. Both sectors are signalling continued steep decline in the economy battered by 2 years of recessionary dynamics and no signs of a light at the end of that tunnel.

In contrast to Brazil, Russia Services PMI posted another steep acceleration in growth, rising from 56.5 in December 2016 to 58.4 in January 2017, the highest reading in 102 months. As a reminder, Russia’s Manufacturing PMI reached 70-months high in January at 54.7. Russian services sector now posted 12 consecutive months of above 50 readings, implying that Russian recession is now over (with Manufacturing PMI reading above 50 for 6 months in a row). 3mo moving average through January is at blistering 56.5, up on already solid 3mo previous at 53.1 and significantly up on 48.2 3mo average through January 2016.

Chinese Services PMI posted a slight moderation in growth from 53.4 in December 2016 to 53.1 in January, with current 3mo average at 53.2, up on 52.2 average for the previous 3 months’ period and on 51.3 3mo average through January 2016. Chinese Services PMI has never registered a sub-50 reading in its history.

India Services sector PMI continued to post sub-50 readings for the third month in a row, coming in at 48.7 in January, compared to 46.8 in December. On a 3mo average basis, January reading is at 47.4, which stands in sharp contrast to the sector fortunes in the previous 3 months period (53.7 average) and compared to January 2016 3mo average at 52.7.

Table below summaries both Manufacturing and Services PMIs for the BRICs:

Chart below shows dynamics in monthly Services PMIs

While the second chart shows current 1Q 2017 performance in quarterly data context.

Key point of the above chart is the strong co-movement between Global PMI and the Russian and Chinese PMIs for the sector. As I noted back in September, this is a strongly positive sign of global economy gaining some much needed growth momentum.

Clearly, Russia leads growth momentum within BRICs, with China providing supporting uplift. India and Brazil act as major drags on global growth across the Services sector.

Note: I covered BRIC Manufacturing PMIs in an earlier post here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2017/02/2217-bric-manufacturing-pmis-russia.html.