By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Data released yesterday, April 13th, by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) shows that the service sector fell by 5.1 percent in relation to February 2016, after declines from last year in January (3.5 percent) and December (5.7 percent).
However in February this year, the sector grew by 0.7 percent compared to January, when there was an increase of 0.2 percent, and in December, the advance was 0.6 percent.
The segment of the services industry rendered to households stood out in February (0.6 percent) in comparison with January. Transport, auxiliary transport and mail services grew by 0.5 percent and professional, administrative and complementary services by 0.2 percent.
The industry decreases were within the segments of information and communication services (1.5 percent) and other services (0.5 percent). The IBGE highlighted that the special cluster of tourism activities recorded growth of 0.2 percent in comparison with January.
There was a wide variance in growth state-by-state. The highest growth rates between January and February were observed in Rondônia (9.1 percent), Mato Grosso (8.5 percent) and Acre (2.5 percent). The largest falls occurred in Ceará (9.8 percent), Espírito Santo (5.3 percent) and Pernambuco (5.2 percent).
According to Roberto Saldanha of IBGE, the service sector has been showing real growth and, in the last four months, the expansion of the industrial sector. “If we have been following since November of last year, the charts have been showing a bullish trend. If the industry continues to grow, the services sector will follow this trend.”
Yet Saldanha also said that the level of the unemployment is still a barrier to the resumption of the services sector. “I think that an undesirable unemployment rate, at a higher level, hampers the resumption of consumption by households.”
In January Brazil had the 22nd consecutive month of unemployment growth, according to the Ministry of Labor. The study (CAGED) shows that during the first month of 2017 the country closed almost 41,000 job positions.