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Monthly Survey of Services

Volume of services grows again and increases 0.4% in March

Section: Economic Statistics | Caio Belandi

May 14, 2024 09h00 AM | Last Updated: May 14, 2024 02h55 PM

The information and communication sector had the biggest increase since January 2017 and reached a record level in the series - Photo: Pixabay

The volume of services provided in the country increased again in March, recording an expansion of 0.4%, after falling 0.9% in February. The level was 12.1% above the pre-pandemic level (February 2020) and 1.5% below the highest point in the time series (reached in December 2022). The data comes from the Monthly Survey of Services, released today (14) by the IBGE. In the cumulative indicator for the first quarter of 2024, compared to the same period in 2023, the sector closed with growth of 1.2%. In the last 12 months, the expansion is 1.4%.

Of the five dissemination activities investigated, four showed progress. The main highlight was the information and communication sector, which grew 4.0% in March, eliminating the 2.5% loss recorded in February. It was the most intense growth for this activity since January 2017, when it registered an increase of 8.2%. The sector also reached, in March 2024, the highest level in the time series.

“This expansion is explained by increases in a set of services investigated within information technology services, such as: software development and licensing; portals, content providers and internet search tools; and IT consultancy”, lists Rodrigo Lobo, survey manager. "These are types of services that have a very dynamic market, which involves a lot of innovation, especially after the pandemic, when the computerization of many companies and services accelerated", he adds. The revenue segment from open TV companies also helped increase this activity.

Another activity with important growth in March was professional, administrative and complementary activities, which, with an increase of 3.8%, recovered from the 2.1% drop in the previous month. “The highlights are engineering services; administration of loyalty programs and discount cards; as well as business intermediation through applications, the last two areas being booming after the pandemic”, explains the researcher. “What has been observed in recent months is that, in general, services aimed at companies are more dynamic. Thus, they are dictating the pace of the services sector, more than services aimed at families", says Mr. Lobo.

Transportation activities (0.3%) and services rendered to families (0.6%) also registered growth in March. Other services (0.0%) remained stable.

In the regional analysis, 13 of the 27 Federation Units (UF) saw an increase in the volume of services between February and March. The most important positive impact came from São Paulo (1.1%), followed by Rio de Janeiro (1.1%), Minas Gerais (1.2%) and Espírito Santo (5.1%). On the other hand, Rio Grande do Sul (-3.6%), followed by Mato Grosso (-7.6%), Federal District (-4.0%) and Mato Grosso do Sul (-9.7%) exerted the main negative influences.

Volume of services grows 1.2% in the first quarter of 2024

The survey also presented the cumulative result for the first quarter of 2024. In comparison with the same period in 2023, the services sector grew 1.2%, with positive rates in four of the five activities and an increase of 54.8% of the 166 types of services investigated. The most important positive sectoral contribution was information and communication (5.5%). The other advances came from professionals, administrative and complementary (2.9%); of those rendered to families (5.5%); and other services (1.5%). Transportation, support services for transportation and mailing had the only drop in the first quarter, 3.5%.

Regionally, 19 of the 27 FUs saw an increase in real service revenue in March. The main positive impacts were in Rio de Janeiro (4.0%) and Minas Gerais (4.4%), followed by Paraná (4.6%), Santa Catarina (5.5%) and Federal District (9. 0%). On the other hand, São Paulo (-0.3%), followed by Mato Grosso (-5.6%), Mato Grosso do Sul (-3.8%), Rio Grande do Sul (-0.8%) and Goiás (-1.9%) registered the most important negative influences.

Tourism changes 0.2% in March

The tourism activity index changed by 0.2% in March, compared to February, after having declined for two consecutive months, when it accumulated a loss of 1.9%. In March, the segment was 2.3% above the pre-pandemic level (February 2020) and 5.3% below the highest point in the series (February 2014).

Compared to February, five of the 12 areas surveyed recorded expansion, the most relevant being in Bahia (9.8%), followed by Santa Catarina (4.5%) and Paraná (2.6%). In the opposite direction, São Paulo (-1.6%), followed by the Federal District (-6.2%) and Rio de Janeiro (-0.8%) had the main declines.

In the first quarter of 2024, the special aggregate of tourism activities increased by 0.4% compared to the same period last year.

Passenger transportation and cargo transportation decline in March

PMS also released the volume of transportation services in March. Passenger numbers fell 1.8%, the second negative result in a row, with a cumulative loss of 1.9%. The segment, in March, was 5.6% below the pre-pandemic level and 27.7% below the highest point in the time series (February 2014). In the first quarter of the year, a drop of 7.0%.

The volume of cargo transportation had a negative change of 0.2% in March 2024, after also decreasing 1.6% in February. The volume of services in the segment was 7.1% below the highest point in its series (July 2023) and 33.5% above the pre-pandemic level. In the first quarter of the year, it had a positive change of 0.3%.

More about the survey

The PMS produces indicators which allow monitoring the current behavior of the services sector in the country, investigating the gross revenue from services in formally constituted companies, with 20 or more employed persons, whose main activity is a non-financial service, excluding the areas of health and education. There are results for Brazil and all Federation Units. The results can be consulted on Sidra.

This is the fifteenth publication of the new series of the survey, which underwent updates in the selection of the sample of companies, in addition to methodological changes, with the aim of portraying economic changes in society. These are updates already planned and implemented periodically by the IBGE. The next release of the Monthly Survey of Services, for the month of April, will be on June 12th.

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