Brazil: Private sector activity picks up in February
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, climbed to 58.4 in February from January’s 56.6, which had marked a seven-month low. As such, the index remained comfortably above the 50-threshold, signaling an improvement in business conditions in the Brazilian manufacturing sector compared to the previous month.
February’s upturn largely came on the back of rising production and new orders amid firmer domestic demand. Moreover, export sales returned to expansion in the month; however, the rise was only marginal. Meanwhile, employment increased in February, with the rate of job creation picking up as firms responded to stronger demand. On the price front, input cost inflation rose to a three-month high amid solid global demand for raw materials and increasing freight costs. Output charge inflation increased at a similar rate as firms tried to cushion pressures on margins. Lastly, firms remained optimistic regarding the outlook for the coming year amid hopes of the recovery taking hold following the rollout of coronavirus vaccines.