Brazil: Manufacturing conditions deteriorate at steepest pace in three months in March
The S&P Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a three-month low of 47.0 in March, down from February’s 49.2. As such, the index moved further below the 50.0 no-change threshold, where it has been for the past five months. This signaled a starker deterioration in manufacturing sector operating conditions compared to the previous month.
March’s downturn was largely due to a steeper contraction in new business: Heightened uncertainty restrained client spending, exacerbating the already muted demand environment. Meanwhile, new export orders declined for a 13th consecutive month. Consequently, output levels were scaled back once again in March, and at a sharper pace than in the prior month. As a result, firms reduced staffing levels at a solid rate.
Turning to prices, input costs rose in March, but at one of the softest rates since the series began in February 2006. Conversely, output charges grew at the strongest pace in six months. Lastly, firms’ sentiment improved in March amid hopes of recovering demand in the coming year.