Brazil: Industrial production unexpectedly soars in February
April 1, 2011
In February, industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 1.9% over the previous month, following on a 0.2% expansion in January. The reading, which overshot market expectations of a 0.9% increase, came in well above the 1.0% expansion tallied in February 2010. As a result, industrial output rose 6.9% over the same month the year before, despite the high comparison base, as activity soared 18.2% in February last year. The unexpected jump reflected seasonal factors, as Carnival holidays took place one month later than usual, resulting in more working days in February. That said, the expansion was widespread within the main used-based components. Intermediate goods production led the way, expanding 1.3% over the previous month, followed by a 0.9% increase in capital goods output. In contrast, manufacture of durable consumer goods decreased in February (-2.3% month-on-month), after having jumped 6.1% in January. The trend continued to indicate a less exuberant expansion this year, with annual average growth in industrial production decreasing from 9.4% in January to 8.6% in February.