Thursday, March 3, 2016

3/3/16: BRIC Composite Activity - February


On a cumulative basis (based on Composite PMIs for each country), the BRIC economies as a group have posted a very disappointing performance in February 2016.

Note: for this index, 100.0 is a zero growth marker.

Russian economy Composite Indicator posted a positive upside surprise, rising from a contractionary reading of 96.8 in January to a weakly-expansionary reading of 101.2. 3mo average through February 2016, however, remains below 100 line at 97.9, which is weaker than the 3mo average through November 2015 at 100.3. The details of Russian Manufacturing sector woes are covered here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2016/03/2316-bric-manufacturing-pmi-february.html, while details of Russian Services and Composite PMIs upside are covered here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2016/03/3316-russia-services-composite-pmi.html.

As a result, Russian economy acted as a factor pushing up BRIC rates of growth in February:



In contrast with Russia, Chinese Composite Indicator posted a significant contraction in February, falling from 100.2 (zero growth) in January 2016 to 98.8 (weak contraction) in February. On a 3mo average basis, the index is now at 99.3 for the period through February 2016, up marginally on 98.9 reading for the 3months through November 2015, but down on 102.4 reading for the 3mo average through February 2015. Details of Chinese Manufacturing PMIs are covered here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2016/03/2316-bric-manufacturing-pmi-february.html, while details of Services and Composite PMIs are covered here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2016/03/3316-china-services-composite-pmi.html.


India’s Composite Indicator fell from 106.6 in January to 102.4 in February, signalling major slowdown in the rate of economic expansion. 3mo average through February 2016 is at 104.1, reflecting robust growth in January, and up on 102.9 3mo average through November 2015, but below 105.3 reading for the 3 months period through February 2015. The weakness in the Indian economic growth is highlighted by comparison to the historical average, which stands at 109.5.

Per Markit: “February data showed that services firms and goods producers alike registered weaker increases in activity. …Falling to a three-month low of 51.4 in February, from 54.3 in January, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei Services Business Activity Index highlighted a softer expansion of output that was only marginal. Where growth was seen, businesses reported higher levels of incoming new work. Although new orders at services firms continued to rise in February, the rate of expansion eased to the weakest since last November as firms reportedly faced strong competition for new work during the month. A quicker increase in order book volumes in the manufacturing economy was insufficient to prevent growth of private sector new orders from easing to a three-month low.”

Conditions in Indian Manufacturing are covered in detail here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2016/03/2316-bric-manufacturing-pmi-february.html.


Meanwhile, Brazil remained the sickest economy in the BRIC group. Composite Indicator for Brazilian economy sunk to an all-time low of 78.0 from an already recessionary 90.2 in January. As the result, 3mo average for Brazil’s Composite Indicator was at 85.3, down on already extremely weak 86.6 recorded over the 3 months through November 2015 and on 100.1 3mo average through February 2015.

According to Markit: “The downturn in the Brazilian economy took a noticeable turn for the worse in February. Business activity, new orders and employment all fell at, or near to, the fastest rates since the combined manufacturing and service survey began in March 2007. Companies continued to link the adverse operating environment to the ongoing economic, financial and political crises. …Accelerated downturns were registered at manufacturers and service providers alike, although the slump at services companies was especially severe. At 36.9 in February, down from 44.4 in January, the seasonally adjusted Markit Services Business Activity Index posted its lowest reading in the nine-year survey history. Business activity has fallen in each of the past 12 months.”

Brazil’s Manufacturing PMIs were covered in detail here: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2016/03/2316-bric-manufacturing-pmi-february.html.

The summary of changes in both manufacturing and Services sectors across all BRIC economies is here:


Thus, overall, global GDP-weighted BRIC PMI Indicator (computed by me) fell to 98.4 - signalling moderate or mild contraction, down from January reading of 100.6. The Index is now registering sub-100 readings in seven out of nine last months. Worse, BRIC economies last posted a statistically significant reading for growth back in December 2014. On a 3mo basis, 3 months average through February 2016 is at 99.1, which is basically unchanged on 3mo average through November 2015 (99.0) and significantly lower than the 3mo average through January 2015 (101.8). Starting with February 2015, the index has been averaging zero growth.


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