Industrial output sees sharpest decline in 18 years

The change is linked to the measures to tackle the new coronavirus

Published in 03/06/2020 - 14:20 By Vitor Abdala - Rio de Janeiro

Brazil’s Industrial Production saw an 18.8 percent contraction from March to April this year—the most dramatic plunge registered by the Monthly Industrial Study (PIM), initiated in 2002, the government’s statistics agency IBGE said.

Also reported were declines of 27.2 percent from April 2019 (another record for this time series), 8.2 percent year  to date, and 2.9 percent month on month.

The reductions reflect the effects of the social distancing measures implemented to tackle the pandemic of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Considering the figures seen in March, when these measures started and there was also a decrease, industrial production has reported losses adding up to 26.1 percent in the two-month period.

“March had already seen a negative result. Now, in April, we see it has spread, with declines of historic magnitude, with two digits, in all economic categories and in 22 of the 25 activities surveyed,” said research manager André Macedo.

Biggest losses

Of all four major economic categories under industry, the most significant losses were observed in durable consumption goods (-79,6%). Capital goods—machines and equipment used in the productive sector—faced a shrinkage of 41.5 percent.

Semi-durable and durable consumption goods dropped 12.4 percent, while intermediate goods—industrialized supplies used in the productive sector—fell 14.8 percent.

Of all branches of industry, automotive vehicles, tows, and coachwork experienced the sharpest reduction: 88.5 percent.

Three branches expanded their output in the period: food products (3.3%); pharmachemicals and pharmaceuticals (6.6%); and perfumery, soaps, and cleaning products (1.3%).

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Kleber Sampaio / Nira Foster

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