Services Sector records decrease of 6.9% in March

May 12, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: May 13, 2020 05h29 PM

In March 2020, the volume of services in Brazil fell by 6.9% against the result of February, in the seasonally adjusted series. That is the most significant negative highlight since the beginning of the time series (January 2011). The impacts were especially observed in the last third of  March, when the social isolation measures against Covid-19 were first implemented. In February, the index had fallen by 1.0% against the previous month.

Period Change (%)
Volume Nominal Revenue
March 20 / February20* -6.9 -7.3
March 20 / March 19 -2.7 -1.1
Cumulaive in January-March  0.1 2.2
Cumulative in the Last 12 months 0.7 3.9
Source: IBGE, Diretoria de Pesquisas, Coordenação de Indústria
*seasonally-adjusted series

In the seasonally-adjusted series, against March 2019, the volume of services decreased 2.7%, interrupting a series of six positive rates. In terms of the cumulative index, the volume of services recorded a negative change of 0.1% against the same period in the previous year and, in the last twelve months, of 0.7%. The complete publication of the Monthly Survey of Services - PMS is available on the right side of the page.

The decrease of 6.9% in volume of services, from February to March 2020, was observed in all the five activities surveyed, with a highlight to services rendered to families (-31.2%, the most significant decrease in the series), and transportation, support activities for transportation services and mailing activities (-9.0%), the second  most significant decrease in the series, only second to that of May 2018 (-9.5%), when the truck driver strike started. The most significant negative contributions to those segments came from the smaller revenue of the lodging and feeding sector (-33.7%) and of air and road transportation  (-27.5% and -10.6%, respectively).

Professional, administrative and complementary services (-3.6%) had a cumulative decrease of 7.6% in the last 6 months, and information and communication (-1.1%) fell 3.2% between January and March. Other services  (-1.6%) eliminated part of the increase of 8.3%, cumulative between September 2019 and March 2020.

Also in the seasonally-adjusted series, the quarterly moving average for volume of services fell 2.5% in the quarter ended March  2020 versus the level in the previous month, making more intense the pace of decrease against January (-0.1%) and February (-0.4%). Four of the five activities recorded decrease in the month: services rendered to families (-10.3%), transportation, support activities for transportation and mailing activities (-2.0%), professional, administrative and complementary services (-1.8%) and information and communication (-1.1%). The last two aforementioned activities have recorded negative rates since December 2019 and January 2020, respectively.

On the other hand, the only sector recording advance in this indicator was other services (0.1%), which has remained on an upward trend since November 2019.

Versus the same month in 2019, there was decrease of 2.7% in March 2020, with reduction in only two of the five activities considered. There was also increase in 39.8% of the 166 types of services surveyed. 

Among the activities, services rendered to families (-33.4%) accounted for the main negative contribution, having been strongly affected by the social isolation measures that led to the partial or complete interruption of activities in establishments such as restaurants and hotels. Another decrease came from professional, administrative and complementary services (-3.4%), mainly due to the loss of revenue of the following types of companies: administration of loyalty programs; travel agencies; private surveillance and security; management of intangible assets; and technical activities linked to engineering.

The sector of other services (13.7%) accounted for the main positive contribution, mainly due to the bigger revenue of security brokers, stock market administration; and insurance, complementary services and health insurance agents. The other advances came from transportation, support activities for transportation and mailing activities (0.3%), resulting from the increase of real income from the management of ports and terminals and storage activities, among others; and information and communication services (0.1%), influenced by activities such as content providers; broadcast TV activities; technical support in IT. 

Monthly Survey of Services
Indicators of Volume of Services, by activities surveyed  - March 2020 - Change (%)
Activities Month/Previous month (1) Monthly (2) Cumulative in the year (3) Last 
12 months (4)
JAN FEB MAR JAN FEB MAR JAN-JAN JAN-FEB JAN-MAR Up to JAN Up to FEV Up to MAR
Volume of services - Brazil 0.4 -1.0 6.9 1.6 0.6 -2.7 1.6 1.1 -0.1 1.0 0.7 0.7
1. Services rendered to families 0.7 -0.4 -31.2 0.2 3.4 -33.4 0.2 1.7 -10.1 2.4 2.3 -0,9
1.1 Lodging and feeding services  0.1 -0.1 -33.7 0.5 4.2 -35.8 0.5 2.2 -10.6 2.6 2.5 -1.1
1.2 Other services rendered to families 2.2 -0.4 -12.6 -1.4 -0.7 -20.0 -1.4 -1.0 -7.5 1.3 1.1 -0.4
2. Information and communication services -0.9 -1.2 -1.1 2.0 -0.4 0.1 2.0 0.8 0.6 3.1 2.6 2.6
2.1 Information and communication technology services (ICT) -1.3 -0.3 0.3 1.5 0.3 1.4 1.5 0.9 1.1 3.4 2.9 2.8
2.1.1 Telecommunications -0.3 0.1 -1.7 -4.0 -2.3 -3.4 -4.0 3.2 -3.2 -1.3 -1.6 -1.7
2.1.2 Information technology services  -2.2 -1.3 2.3 13.0 5.6 10.4 13.0 9.2 9.7 13.0 11.8 12.0
2.2 Audiovisual services 0.5 -4.1 -14.0 5.3 -5.5 -9.5 5.3 -0.1 -3.2 1.4 1.0 0.8
3. Professional, administrative and complementary services  -0.7 -1.2 -3.6 0.0 -3.4 -3.4 0.0 -1.7 -2.3 0.7 0.3 0,2
3.1 Technical and professional services -2.0 -3.1 1.3 0.4 -6.2 2.3 0.4 -3.0 -1.2 3.,1 2.3 2,8
3.2 Administrative and complementary services  0.0 -1.6 -7.0 -0.1 -2.4 -5.3 -0.1 -1.2 -2.6 -0.2 -0.4 -0,6
4. Transportation, support services for transportation and mailing activities  2.7 0.4 -9.0 1.0 1.6 0.3 1.0 1.3 0.9 -2.5 -2.5 -1.9
4.1 Road transportation 4.3 0.9 -10.6 -3.1 -1.0 -5.8 -3.1 -2.1 -3.3 -3.1 -3.5 -3.4
4.2 Waterway transportation 6.4 5.0 0.0 9.9 12.4 23.9 9.9 11.2 15.6 3.3 3.8 5.7
4.3 Air transportation -0.2 0.2 -27.5 8.8 6.8 -11.7 8.8 7.8 1.6 -5.0 -5.2 -5.4
4.4 Storage, support activities for transportation and mailing activities  0.6 -1.2 -0.8 3.5 2.1 8.2 3.5 2.8 4.6 -2.0 -1.7 -0.2
5. Other services 1.4 0.4 -1.6 9.7 9.3 13.7 9.7 9.5 10.9 6.2 6.5 7.8
Source: IBGE, Diretoria de Pesquisas, Coordenação de Indústria
(1) Base: immediately previous month - seasonally adjusted 
(2) Base: same month a year ago
(3) Base: same period a year ago
(4) Base: 12 previous months

Considering the cumulative index in the year, against the same period in the previous year, the services sector recorded a negative change of 0.1%, with decrease in only two of the five activities surveyed and increase in less than half (41.0%) of the 166 types of services surveyed.

Among the sectors, services rendered to families (-10.1%) accounted for the most significant negative contribution, mainly due to the fall in the revenue of restaurants; hotels; and catering, buffet and other related food services. The reversal of the trend of increase observed in the sector, with a change from an increase of 1.7% in the first two months of the year to a decrease of 10.1% in the first quarter of 2020, was caused by the partial or total closing of those establishments, due to the current social isolation measures.

Another decrease came from professional , administrative and complementary  services (-2.3%), due to the fall of revenue of companies of administration of loyalty programs, solutions in electronic payment; private surveillance and security; general cleaning; activities linked to architecture and engineering; and travel agencies.

On the other hand, the main positive contribution to the cumulative index in the year came from other services (10.9%), followed by transportation, support activities for transportation and mailing activities (0.9%) and information and communication (0.6%).

Services fell in 24 of the 27 Federation Units

Most (24) of the 27 Federation Units recorded decreases in volume of services in March 2020, against February, similarly to what occurred in the country (-6.9%). São Paulo (-6.2%) and Rio de Janeiro (-9.2%) recorded the most significant decreases, due to the influence of lodging and feeding. Other negative contributions came from Rio Grande do Sul (-11.0%), Federal District (-10.9%) and Paraná (-5.4%).

On the other hand, the only positive impacts came from Amazonas (1.9%), Rondônia (3.1%) and Maranhão (1.1%).

In comparison with March 2019, the fall of services in Brazil (-2.7%) was observed in 23 of the 27 Federation Units. The main negative influences were those of São Paulo (-1.3%), Bahia (-12.0%) and Rio Grande do Sul (-7.2%). The only positive contributions to the overall index came from Amazonas (3.3%), Maranhão (4.3%), Rondônia (8.0%) and Pará (1.4%).

In terms of the cumulative index from January to March 2020, versus the same period a year ago, the negative change of volume of services in Brazil (-0.1%) was widespread, since 16 of the 27 Federation Units also recorded decrease in the real revenue of services.

The main negative impacts occurred in Bahia (-6.8%), in Rio Grande do Sul (-4.6%) and in Minas Gerais (-1.7%). São Paulo (0.9%) and Rio de Janeiro (1.6%) accounted for the main positive contributions to the overall index.

Index of tourism activities falls by 30%, the highest decrease in the series

In March 2020, the index of tourism activities fell 30.0% against February, the most significant decrease in the time series. Prevention measures against Covid-19 reached immediately and significantly at number of the companies that form sectors related to tourism, especially restaurants, hotels and air transportation of passengers.

All the twelve Federation Units where tourism activities are evaluated followed that decrease, with a highlight to Rio de Janeiro (-36.6%), Minas Gerais (-30.8%) and São Paulo (-28.8%).

In comparison with March 2019, the volume of tourism activities in Brazil fell by 28.2%, interupting a series of six positive rates in a row. It was mainly affected by the decrease of the revenue of restaurants, hotels, and collective air and road transportation of passengers. On the other hand, the car rental segment accounted for the main positive contribution to the tourism activity. 

The twelve Federation Units where the indicator is surveyed recorded decrease in services aimed at tourismAs doze unidades da federação onde o indicador é investigado mostraram recuo nos , with a highlight to Rio de Janeiro (-30.5%), Minas Gerais (-28.3%) and São Paulo (-28.2%).

Considering the cumulative index in the year, tourism activities fell by 6.2% against the same period, once more affected by the segments of restaurants, hotels, collective road transportation of passengers and catering, buffet and other related food services. But the car rental segment accounted for the main positive impact. 

The twelve areas surveyed also had negative rates, the main highlights being Federal District (-15.3%), Rio Grande do Sul (-10.1%), Minas Gerais (-8.5%) and São Paulo (-7.9%).