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Monthly Survey of Services

After rising for two months, services sector changes -0.1% in January

Section: Economic Statistics | Irene Gomes

March 16, 2022 09h00 AM | Last Updated: March 16, 2022 03h03 PM

Services sector decreases in January pressed by segment of information technology - Photo: Licia Rubinstein/IBGE News Agency

After accumulating a gain of 4.7% in the last two months last year, the services sector changed -0.1% between December and January. With the January´s result, the sector stood 7.0% above the pre-pandemic level, registered in February 2020, and it is operating at a level slightly below that of August 2015. However, this sector is still 5.2% below the peak in the time series, recorded in November 2014. These are data from the Monthly Survey of Services (PMS), released today (16) by the IBGE.

“In the process of recovery that the services sector has been experiencing since June 2020, positive rates prevailed: they are 15 positive rates against 5 negative ones, i.e., a large comparison basis, which causes the sector to accommodate at times,” explains Rodrigo Lobo, manager of the survey. Nevertheless, he highlights that it is still not possible to know whether the result is a inflection point in the time series or just a sob.

 

Three out of five activities investigated retracted in January, highlighted by information and communication services (-4.7%), which retreated for the second month in a row. As a result, the activity stays at a level 7.3% above that of February 2020 and 4.9% below the highest point in the time series, in November 2021. In this activity, the segment of information technology dropped 8.9% and that of telecommunications, -1.1%.

“The segment of information technology definitely contributed to the result of -0.1% of the services sector. This is the segment that mostly stands out since January 2011, increasing the growth pace from May 2020 onwards and peaking in December 2021. Despite this drop, the balance of the last 3 months is still positive at 2.4% and it is 35.9% above the pre-pandemic level,” contextualizes Lobo.

Still in the sector of information and communication services, the segment of telecommunications is not only below the level of February 2020 (-5.6%), but it also hit the floor in the time series in January, i.e., it is 18.1% below that of October 2014. Lobo highlights that this segment has the highest weight in the survey, among 166 services activities investigated.

In sectoral terms, the second negative impact came from services rendered to families. “This sector was the mostly affected by the pandemic, due to its face-to-face nature, though it has been recovering consistently. Even with the drop of 1.4% in January, the balance is still highly positive since it started its recovery in June 2020,” assesses Lobo. This activity registered a sequence of nine positive rates, recording a cumulative growth of 60% between April and December last year.  However, it is still 13.2% below that of February 2020 and 23.3% below the peak in the time series, in October 2013.

Having dropped 1.1%, other services reported the third negative impact, highlighted by fund management by contract or commission and insurance, supplementary pension and health brokers. The activity is 0.6% below the pre-pandemic level and 11.5% below the highest point in the time series, registered in August 2011 and January 2012.

On the rising side, transportation stood out by growing 1.4% in January, the third consecutive positive figure, accumulating an increase of 6.6%. This activity, which hit the lowest level in the time series in April 2020, is 13.1% above that of February 2020 and 2.7% below the peak in February 2014. “This growth comes from road transportation of cargo and from transportation logistics and storage of goods, much due to the boom in electronic commerce, lifting the transportation sector to its highest level since November 2014,” highlights Lobo.

Also on the rising side, professional, administrative and complementary services grew 0.6%, with a sequence of three positive rates, accumulating a gain of 5.3%. This activity is 1.4% above the level of February 2020 and 19.5% below the peak in the time series, in July 2012 and September 2014.

In relation to January 2021, the services sector grew 9.5%, with a rise in all the activities. “This is the 11th consecutive positive rate, still due to a low comparison basis,” complements Lobo.

In regional terms, 12 out of 27 Federation Units retracted in volume of services between December and January, with the most important impacts in the Federal District (-9.1%), Rio de Janeiro (-1.2%) and Minas Gerais (-1.9%). Conversely, São Paulo (0.6%) and Goiás (4.5%) recorded the major advances.

Tourism activities grow 1.1% in January

The index of tourism activities grew 1.1% over December, the eighth positive rate in the last nine months, accumulating a gain of 69.6%. However, the tourism segment is still 9.7% below the level of February two years ago.

This index of tourism activities has a profile similar to that of services rendered to families, since many activities that form the indicator come from this segment. “However, the tourism activities did not follow the dropping movement in services rendered to families this month, due to the growth in the segment of air transportation, which more than offset the losses coming from restaurants,” notices the researcher.

More about PMS

The Monthly Survey of Services produces indicators to monitor the short-term behavior of the services sector in Brazil. The survey investigates the gross revenue from services in formal enterprises employing 20 or more persons, in which the main activity is a non-financial service, excluding the areas of health and education. It produces results for Brazil and all the Federation Units. Results are available at Sidra.



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