Brazil: Manufacturing PMI edges higher in February
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, rose to 52.3 in February from 51.0 in January. Consequently, the PMI edged further above the 50-threshold signaling an overall improvement in business conditions in the manufacturing sector over the previous month.
The improvement in manufacturing operating conditions in February were largely widespread, with both output and new orders rising at the quickest pace in three months. New business was chiefly buttressed by stronger domestic demand, as new export sales continued to decline in the month, albeit at the slowest rate in six months. Moreover, manufacturers boosted staff levels in anticipation of expansion plans and improved demand. Even so, outstanding business declined at a muted rate, suggesting spare capacity has started to tighten. Manufacturers remained optimistic in February, encouraged by investment expectations and an expanding client base.
Turning to the supply-side, anecdotes suggested the outbreak of coronavirus in China hindered raw material deliveries, causing supplier delivery times to lengthen at the sharpest rate in the survey’s 14-year history. Consequently, manufacturers scaled back purchasing activity in the month.
On the price front, input cost inflation accelerated to an over one-year high amid a stronger U.S. dollar. In response, good producers raised output prices at the sharpest rate in over a year and a half.
Commenting on February’s print, Pollyanna De Lima, Principal Economist at IHS Markit noted:
“Brazil’s manufacturing sector took off in February. […] Still, comments from survey participants and other PMI indices highlight a number of downside risks to the outlook. Lingering currency weakness continued to add to firms’ expenses. […] On the supply-side, the outbreak of the coronavirus in China and its spillover effects hurt supply chains worldwide.”