Brazil’s industrial production grew 2.9 percent in December 2021 after reporting no variation in November, thus breaking a streak of five months on the wane.

December’s performance brings the sector 0.9 percent below February 2020, before the pandemic, as per data released today (Feb. 2) by the government’s statistics agency IBGE, in Rio de Janeiro. Industry is also 17.7 percent below the record level, registered in May 2011.

According to Research Manager André Macedo, the final value for the year reflects industry’s slower pace over the course of 2021. He noted, however, that this is the first positive result in two years.

“In 2019, the amount was -1.1 percent year to date. In 2020, it stood at -4.5 percent. A downward trend was seen over 2021, since a 13 percent growth was reported in the first quarter before it began to slacken off,” he said.

In the second quarter of the year, the year-to-date value reflected a different landscape with a 3.4 percent decline. Macedo also pointed out that the ripples of the pandemic had a significant effect in production, which led to higher costs and a shortage in raw materials, coupled with other factors—“inflation at higher levels and a labor market that, despite some recovery, is still heavily marked by the precarious working conditions, with lower pay,” Macedo stated.

Categories

In three of the four major economic categories and in 18 of the 26 activities surveyed, industry showed positive figures also year to date. Chiefly among them are auto vehicles and towing (20.3%), machinery and equipment (24.1%), and metalworking (15.4%).

Compared to November, most of the activities studied also saw a growth in December, with an increase of 2.9 percent in industry overall. Auto vehicles and towing had the highest influence. In December, the segment was up 12.2 percent and was the fourth consecutive month with an increase. In the time span, the increase was 17.4 percent.

The outcome for industry in December was also impacted by the performance in food products. Nonetheless, even though the surge stood at 2.9 percent in the month, the sector had a lower growth than it did in the previous month, when it reached 7.1 percent.

“It is the second month with a growth in this activity and this expansion is chiefly due to sugar production and the return of beef as an export for China,” he said. Despite the positive result, the sector is still 4.1 percent below pre-pandemic levels.

Source: Agência Brasil