Brazil: Industrial production contracts in March
May 3, 2018
Industrial production shrank in March, contracting 0.1% month-on-month in seasonally-adjusted terms, in contrast to the downwardly revised 0.1% increase recorded in February (previously reported: +0.2% month-on-month). The print surprised to the downside, falling short of market expectations of a 0.6% rise. March’s poor performance adds to a string of weak prints and suggests the economic recovery could be sporadic and slower than expected.
The downturn in March was driven by a sharp slowdown in consumer goods production. In addition, a contraction in the production of intermediate goods, albeit softer than last month’s contraction, caused industrial output to fall. In contrast, production of capital goods accelerated in March, growing at the fastest pace since June 2017.
In annual terms, industrial production growth moderated to 1.3% in March from a revised 2.4% in February (previously reported: +2.8% year-on-year), the lowest print in nine months. Annual average growth was stable at 2.9% in March.
Brazil Industrial Production Forecast
The analysts surveyed by FocusEconomics for this month’s LatinFocus Consensus Forecast see industrial production growing 3.9% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month's estimate. In 2019, industrial output is expected to grow 3.5%.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist