Brazil: Industrial output declines markedly in March
Industrial production fell 9.1% in month-on-month seasonally-adjusted terms in March, contrasting February’s revised 0.7% increase (previously reported: +0.5% month-on-month). March’s result was worse than market expectations of a 4.7% contraction and marked the poorest performance in nearly two years.
The decline was widespread across categories in March. The production of capital goods and consumer goods, for durable and non-durable goods, contracted sharply, while intermediate goods output fell in the month. Industrial output decreased in 23 of the 26 sectors surveyed in March, reflecting the impact of industrial plant shutdowns and restrictions to contain Covid-19.
Industrial production shrank 3.8% on an annual basis in March, following February’s 0.3% dip and representing the fifth consecutive contraction in output. Meanwhile, annual average industrial output fell 1.0% in March, improving from the 1.2% drop in February.
Looking ahead, the industrial sector is expected to continue to languish under the severe economic conditions created by the pandemic and measures to control the domestic outbreak.