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Monthy Survey of Services

Volume of services increases by 0.9% in May and records third increase in four months

Section: Economic Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral

July 12, 2022 09h00 AM | Last Updated: July 15, 2022 09h14 PM

Information technology services increased by 2.4% in May and hit the highest level sine January 2011 - Photo: Pixabay

Volume of services in the country increased 0.9% from April to May. That is the third positive result of the sector in the last four months, a period when there was an increase of 3.3%. In the previous month, there was a drop of 0.1%. With the result of May, the sector is 8.4% above the pre-pandemic level, recorded in February 2020, and 2.8% below the peak of the time series of the Monthly Survey of Services (PMS), registered in November 2014. These data were released today (12) by the IBGE.

All the five activities investigated by the survey recorded positive results. The manager of PMS, Rodrigo Lobo, explains that the increase ibserved in the activities became more frequent by the effects of the pandemic. “Besides 2020, it was not so common to see activities increasing simultaneously. That is related to the low basis for comparison as an effect of social distancing measures, mainly in face-to-face services. Since then, with the reduction of restrictions, these activities have had a higher pace.”

The transportation sector, with an increase of 0.9%, was responsible for some of the main impacts on services in May. With this increase, the sector recovered part of the drop of 2.5% registered in April. In the year, transportation had a cumulative increase of 14.9%.

“Information technology services and cargo transportation had a great impact on the result of May. Transportation of cargo, especially road transportation, besides supplying the demand of electronic trade and of the agricultural sector, has also been important for the industrial sector, notably capital goods and intermediate goods, which are the categories of use that operate above the pre-pandemic level,” Mr. Lobo says. Having increased 1.8%, transportation of cargo reached its peak in the time series initiated in 2011.

Another major impact on the general index came from the segment of information and communication, which, similarly to transportation, advanced by 0.9% in May. This is the third positive result of this activity in a row, with a cumulative increase of 3.4% in the period. “In May, the information technology sector increased by 2.4%, and also reached ots highest level in the time series. Companies in the segmen, such as development of applications and search tools on the Internet remain taking business opportunities created after the pandemic, in which services such as digitization, digital media, remote communication interfaces and cloud data storage recorded significant increases in demand from companies.” 

The segment of other services, having advanced 3.1% recovered part of the loss of 3.0% registered in the previous month. “This sector is heterogeneous, and gathers, for example, support activities to forestry, real estate and car repair. But the ones with a bigger impact on the sector are auxiliary financial services, such as administration of stock markets, consulting in financial investments and security brokers. The result of May allowed the sector of other services to still operate above the pre-pandemic level (+1.0%). In the case of professional, administrative and complementary services, the increase of 1.0% in May led to the full recovery against the result of April (-0.5%).

With an increase of 1.9%, services rendered to families had a cumulative increase of 8.1% in the last few months. Despite the increase, this segment if still 7.0% below the level in February 2020. “It is the only among the five sectors investigated that still operates below that level. With the reduction of restrictions, there has been increasing search for these face- to-face services, such as restaurants and hotels. At a lower level, there is also a search for physical conditioning activities, such as gym centers, for example.”

Na passagem de April to May, 16 of the 27 unidades Federation Units recorded positive changes. Among the area, the most important impacts came from São Paulo (0.6%) and Minas Gerais (3.3%), followed by Santa Catarina (3.3%), Mato Grosso do Sul (5.3%) and Amazonas (3.7%). The main negative contributions were those of Pernambuco (-3.1%), Rio de Janeiro (-0.2%), Mato Grosso (-1.7%) and Paraná (-0.4%).

Sectors advanced 9.2% in the interannual comparison

Against May last year, services advanced 9.2%, the 15th consecutive positive rate in this indicator. The main influences on the overall increase came from the sector of transportation, support services to transportation and mailing (12.5%) and services rendered to families (39.0%).

Rodrigo Lobo explains that the solid results presented by face-to-face services are still a consequence of social distancing measures made flexible and of the advance of vaccination that have added to the recovery of services. “The central role of services aimed at enterprises cannot be forgotten, mainly information technology and cargo services.”

The other advances came from professional, administrative and complementary services (9.6%) and information and communication (4.0%). The only negative rate in the month was that of other services (-4.0%). Mr. Lobo highlights that, beinh little affected by the pandemic, this activity had a low basis for comparison.

Tourism activities recorded an increase of 2.6% in May

Index of tourism activities rises 2.6% in May. That is the third positive result in the period, with a cumulative increase of 11.7%. With hikes in a row, the tourism segment is only 0.1% below the pre-pandemic level.

“This is a group of 22 services that are more related to tourism. Although the sector has not exceeded the level prior to the pandemic, it is the closest so far. That also results from the renewed interest for face-to-face activities,” say the manager of the survey.

SOnly four of the 12 areas surveyed recorded increases in national tourism activity. The areas accounting for the main contributions to the result are São Paulo (2.5%), Rio Grande do Sul (3.9%), Bahia (1.5%) and Ceará (2.3%). Rio de Janeiro (-2.8%), Goiás (-9.6%), Paraná (-4.4%) and Santa Catarina (-4.8%) fell in comparison with April.

Volume of passengers transported changed by -0.3%

Against the previous month, the volume of passengers transported changed -0.3% in May, after a cumulative increase of 27.2% between November last year and last April. This way, the segment is, this month, 0.4% below the level of February 2020, prior to the pandemic, and 22.0% below that of February 2014 (peak of the time series). In the previous month, transportation of passengers exceeded the level of February 2020 for the first time, but it dropped again in May.

“Transportation of passengers recorded a slightly negative change in May. It had been growing with urban mobility, of transportation in the city, increase of flights, for work or leisure, but without the same impact as that of cargo transportation,” Mr. Lobo says.

The volume of cargo transportation recorded an increase of 1.8%, with a cumulative increase of 13.0% since October 2021. It is the highest level in the time series for the segment, which is at 25.9% above the level of February 2020.

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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