By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazilian industrial production decreased by 0.9 percent in February in relation to January, when it had registered a positive variation of 0.3 percent after two months of declines, according to data from the IBGE (Brazilian Statistical Bureau). In comparison to February of 2014, the survey shows that the contraction in industry was of 9.1 percent, the lowest annual comparison since July 2009. The total for the first two months of 2015 shows a decline in industrial production by 7.1 percent.
According to the IBGE, the February index was affected by the negative results of automobile production, which fell by 1.7 percent, tobacco (-24 percent) and IT and electronic equipment (-4.2 percent).
Other important negative contributions included mineral products (-1.1 percent), leather and footwear products (-2.4 percent), pharmaceutical products (-3.4 percent) and beverages (-1.2 percent).
Among the main economic categories, the production of capital goods fell by 4.1 percent, mainly due to the decline in truck production. The February result eliminated part of January’s gain in the category (+8.2 percent). The production of semi and non-durable consumption goods fell by 0.5 percent, durable consumption goods decreased by 0.4 percent and intermediary goods fell by 0.1 percent.
In annual terms (February 2015 to February 2014), the IBGE registered a decline in industrial production of 70.2 percent of the items surveyed. Automobile production, for example, in annual terms declined by 30.4 percent in February.
Other sectors which registered significant declines in production in the annual comparison include IT equipment and electronic products (-33.9 percent), derivatives of petroleum and biofuels (-6.9 percent), pharmaceutical products (-24 percent) and clothing (-19.7 percent).