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Monthly Survey of Services

Services sector changes by -0.2% in February, second negative rate in a row

Section: Economic Statistics | Irene Gomes

April 12, 2022 09h00 AM | Last Updated: April 13, 2022 01h16 AM

Telecommunications segment influences decrease of services sector in February - Photo: Helena Pontes/Agência IBGE Notícias

The sector of services changed by -0.2% from January to February, recording a cumulative decrease of 2.0% from February 2021. As a result, the sector of services is 5.4% above the level in February 2020 (pre-pandemic) and 7.0% below the rate in November 2014 (peak of the time series). These are data from the Monthly Survey of Services - PMS, released today (12) by the IBGE.

“Four of the six latest rates were negative (in August, September, January and february) and two were positive (in November and December). Although there is also a predominance of negative rates, the balance of the last 6 months stayed at 0.1%, slightly positive and very close to stability,” contextualizes the survey manager, Rodrigo Lobo. “That means a more stable services sector, showing an accomodation of the gains measured up to August 2021,” he says.

Lobo says the performance of the services sector during the pandemic can be shared into four moments: March to May 2020 recorded a sharp drop of 17%; from June to November 2020 there was fast recovery, with cumulative gain in the sector of 15.6%; from December 2020 to August 2021 there was deceleration, but also with a cumulative increase of 9.7%; and from September 2021 to February 2022, the sector seemed stable, with a change of 0.1% in the period. 

Two of the five activities surveyed fell in the month of February: information and communication services (-1.2%) and other services (-0.9%).

The main negative imapct came from information and communication services (-1.2%), which decreased for the third month in a row. The activity is now at a level 8.6% above that of February 2020.

“The decrease in this activity was driven by telecommunications, with a drop of 2.8% in February. This segment, which is the most relevant in the survey, is 9.0% below the pree-pandemic level,” Mr. Lobo explains.

The activity of other services, in turn, registered the second consecutive drop, with a cumulative loss of 1.3% in the first two months of 2022. “The segment of disposal of non-dangerous residue pushed the result downwards,”, Mr Lobo expained. The activity is 0.4% below the pre-pandemic level.

Services renedered to families, in turn, changed by 0.1% in February. “The activity was very close to stability and had almost no influence on the result of the services sector. But is worth mentioning there was a drop in January, interrupting a sequence of nine positive rates in a row and now, there is stability.” The activity, highly affected by the pandemic, is at a level 14.1% below that of February 2020.

In terms of rising results, transportation stood out, with an increase of 2.0% in February. “This is the fourth month of increase in a row, with cumulative gain of 8.2% in the period. In February, road and railway transportation of cargo played a significant role in the sector,” the researcher explains The sector of transportation is at a level 14.2% above that of February 2020.

Also recording increase, professional, administrative and complementary services increased by 1.4%, fourth positive rate in a row, with cumulative increase of 6.8%. In February, results were driven by the biggest revenue registered by companies in the segments of temporary allocation of workforce, charging and cadastral activities and car rental. “Car rental was significant due to the fall of prices of vehicle rents, measured by the IPCA (-15.28%), which has caused an increase in volume of car rental services.” Professional and administrative services as a whole are 3.3% above the level observed in February 2020.

In relation to February 2021, the services sector grew 7.4%, with a rise in four of the five activities. “That is the 12th positive rate in a row in this comparison. The basis for comparison in the beginning of 2021 is still low, which favors the occurrence of positive rates in the first two months of 2022,” Mr. Lobo adds.

Thirteen of das 27 Federation Units recorded decreases in volume of services between January and February, with São Paulo (-0.5%), Federal District (-3.4%) and Santa Catarina (-2.0%) accounting for the main impacts. Minas Gerais (2.0%), Rio de Janeiro (0.8%) and Mato Grosso (6.6%) recorded the main increases in regional terms.

IBGE releases new special indicator

The IBGE now releases, for the first time, the special transportation indicator by type of use (cargo or passenger) The time series start in January 2011 and present results at national level, only, without figurues by region.

Against January 2022, air transportation of passengers increased 1.1% and that of cargo, 2.5%. “Air transportation of passengers had its fourth positive rate in a row, with cumulative increase of 20.6%. However, it is still 28.9% below its peak, which took place in February 2014.

Cargo transportation recorded its fifth consecutive positive rate, with cumulative increase of 10.2% and having reached its peak in the series. The record takes places right after the boom of electronic trade, the selling of agricultural products and the movement of inputs and industrial goods by means of different cargo transportation modes: road, railway, waterway and air.

Compared to the pre-pandemic period, whereas cargo transportation is 21.4% above the result in February 2020, passenger transportation is 6.2% below the level in February 2020.

Against February 2021, air transportation of passengers increased 32.9% and that of cargo, 13.8%. In terms of the cumulative index in the year, transportation of passengers recorded an increase of 34.0%, and that of cargo, of 14.1%.

“The pace of increase of passenger transportation, in comparisons against 2021, is more significant because this segment was more affected by the pandemic due to the necessary social distancing. That led to reduced movement of persons around Brazilian cities, forming a low basis for comparison up the initial years of 2021.”

Tourism activities drop 1.0% in February

In February 2022, the tourism activity index dropped 1.0% from the previous month, after a decrease observed last January (-0.4%). The tourism segment is still 16.2% below the level of February 2020.

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. This month, tourism activities did not follow the movement of stability of services rendered to families. “Air transportation recorded a negative influence this month, with a decrease of 9.1%. This segment is part of tourism, but not of services rendered to families,” the researcher says.

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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