Saturday, March 4, 2017

3/3/17: BRIC Manufacturing PMI: Weaker Support for Global Growth in 1Q

The latest BRIC Manufacturing sector PMIs for February are continuing to signal support for global growth albeit at weaker rates than in 4Q 2016.

Brazil Manufacturing PMI for February came in at 46.9, slightly less sharp of a rate of contraction than 44.0 in January 2017. This marks 25th consecutive month of Brazil’s Manufacturing PMIs at below 50.0 - the point of zero growth. The rate of decline in Brazil’s case is shallowest since January 2016, but the series are quite volatile and at 46.9, the index is statistically significantly below 50.

Russian Manufacturing PMI moderated from 54.7 in January to 52.5 in February, but the index remained statistically above 50.0, signalling robust growth. This marks 7th consecutive month above with PMI above 50 and the 5th consecutive month that Manufacturing PMI exceeded 50.0 by a statistically significant margin, as the Russian economy continued on its expansion trend.

Chinese Manufacturing PMI cam in at 51.7, still below statistically significant growth line, but above 50.0 nominally, marking 8th consecutive month of above 50 readings (none of these readings were statistically significant, however). 51.7 marks a slight improvement on January’s 51.0.

India’s Manufacturing PMI rose to 50.7 in February from 50.4 in January. This marks the second consecutive month with above 50.0 nominal readings, but the index remains statistically indistinguishable from 50.0 zero growth mark.

Table below uses January-February average PMI for 1Q 2017 reading and compares it against full quarter averages for Manufacturing PMIs for previous quarters.

Chart below illustrates quarterly averages trends:

As shown in the chart above, 1Q 2017 results to-date indicate slightly weaker growth support from the BRIC economies overall, based on Manufacturing sector activity alone. Global growth in manufacturing continued to accelerate in the first two months of 2017, while BRIC Manufacturing posted slightly weaker growth in 1Q so far. The downward momentum in BRIC Manufacturing growth was driven by 
  • Brazil (experiencing accelerated contraction in 1Q to-date compared to 4Q 2016)
  • India (experiencing sharply slower growth in 1Q 2017 to-date compared to 4Q 2016)
Offsetting these trends,
  • Russian growth in manufacturing sector accelerated in the first two months of 2017 compared to 4Q 2016; and
  • Chinese growth in the sector remained roughly unchanged in January-February 2017 compared to 4Q 2016.

I will be posting on Services sector PMIs and Composite PMIs once we have data for Brazil.

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