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Monthly Survey of Services

After three months of expansion, volume of services retreats 0.9% in February

Section: Economic Statistics | Caio Belandi

April 12, 2024 09h00 AM | Last Updated: April 12, 2024 03h14 PM

Four out of five PMS Activities retreated in February - Picture: Claudio Vieira/PMSJC

Volume of services rendered in Brazil retreated 0.9% between January and February 2024. This result comes after three months of rises (November and December 2023 and January 2024), a period in which it expanded 1.5%. As a result, volume of services stayed 11.6% above the level of February 2020 (pre-pandemic) and 1.9% below that of December 2022 (peak of the time series).  These are data from the Monthly Survey of Services, released today (12) by the IBGE.

The survey also showed a growth of 2.5% compared with February 2023. Considering the cumulative index in the first two months this year, volume of services recorded an increase of 3.3% against the same period last year. The cumulative index over the last 12 months stayed at 2.2%.


Four out of five activities investigated by the PMS decreased their volume in February. According to Luiz Almeida, an analyst of the survey, it results from a compensation movement after months of rises. “It is a discontinuation of the previous gains. As observed, for example, in the activity of professional, administrative and complementary services,” states him. After rising in January, this group fell 1.9% in February, mainly due to the payment of lawsuits, which influenced legal activities. “As there is no revenue in February, it returns to the previous level,” explains him. Services of machinery rental and car rental contributed to the drop in this group as well.

Another important retraction was the sector of information and communication (-1.5%), which lost part of the gain of 3.6% of the last four months. “In this case, the major influences came from portals, content providers and other information services on the Internet, as well as from edition integrated to book printing, which cooled down after the beginning of the school year,” justifies the researcher.

The other activities that retreated in February were transportation (-0.9%) and other services (-1.0%). Only the activities of services rendered to families reported a positive change (0.4%), which does not recover the drop of 2.9% in January. “It is important to remind that this sector was the last one to recover from the pandemic, surpassing the pre-pandemic level only in December 2023. The drop in January had put this sector below this level. After this slight recovery, it is put above that level once again, though only 0.2%,” says Luiz Almeida.

Compared with the same period in 2023, the services sector grew 3.3% in the first two months of 2024, with an expansion in all the five activities and a rise of 62.7% in the 166 types of services investigated by the PMS.

In regional terms, 14 out of 27 Federation Units (FUs) followed the national index between January and February and retreated their volume of services. The most important negative impact came from São Paulo (-1.0%), followed by Paraná (-2.5%), Rio de Janeiro (-0.7%), Mato Grosso (-2.7%), Ceará (-1.3%) and Espírito Santo (-1.4%). On the other hand, Bahia (0.9%), followed by Pará (1.7%) and Rio Grande do Norte (3.5%) were the major positive contributions this month.

Tourism retreats 0.8% in February

The index of tourism activities retreated 0.8% in February in relation to January. It was the second consecutive retreat, with a cumulative loss of 1.8%. As a result, this segment is 2.2% above the level of February 2020 (pre-pandemic) and 4.3% below the highest figure in the series, reached in February 2014.

It was balanced in regional terms, with six out of 12 places surveyed following the national retraction. The most important negative influence came from São Paulo (-2.9%), followed by Santa Catarina (-3.7%), Ceará (-5.4%) and Minas Gerais (-1.5%). In contrast, the Federal District (8.3%) and Bahia (2.4%) recorded the major advances.

In the cumulative index in the first two months of 2024, tourism activities expanded 0.3% over the same period last year.

Transportation of passengers remains virtually stable and that of cargo, dropped

The PMS also released the volume of transportation in February. Passenger transportation remained virtually stable: an addition of 0.1% over January. Yet, it is the second consecutive positive figure, accumulating a gain of 2.9%. The segment was 5.4% below the level of February 2020, prior to the pandemic, and 27.3% below that of February 2014 (peak of the time series).

Volume of cargo transportation fell 1.4%, after advancing 0.8% in January. Therefore, this segment stood 5.5% below its peak in the time series (July 2023). In comparison with the pre-pandemic level, cargo transportation was 34.3% above that of February 2020.

As for the cumulative index in the first two months this year, transportation of passengers decreased 5.7% against the same period in 2023, whereas cargo transportation increased 5.5% in the same period investigated.

More about the survey

The PMS 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 that employ 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 on Sidra.

This is the 14th release of the new time series of the survey, which updated the sample of enterprises, as well as included methodological changes to portray economic changes in the society. They are updates already scheduled and periodically implemented by the IBGE. The next release of the Monthly Survey of Services, related to March, will be on May 14.

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