Thursday, December 3, 2015

3/12/15: BRIC Services PMI: November

BRIC Services PMIs are in for November, so let’s take a quick look at the headline numbers:

Russian Services PMI came in at 49.8 in November - a whisker away from 50.0 - and up on 47.8 in October. This marked second consecutive month of sub-50 readings in the series. 3mo average through November is at 49.6, which is weaker than the 3mo average through August 2015 (50.1) but stronger than the 3mo average through November 2014 (47.5). Per Markit: Service sector business activity declined only fractionally in November, although new business contracted for first time in eight months and outstanding business deteriorated further. “With backlogs of work falling, Russian service providers continued to shed jobs during November. Moreover, job cuts have been recorded in every survey period since March 2014. Panel members mentioned a contraction in employee numbers reflected efforts to cut excess capacity”.

Chinese Services PMI weakened in November to 51.2 from 52.0 in October, with 3mo average through November now at 51.2, down on 52.4 3mo average through August 2015 and on 53.1 average through November 2014. Given that Chinese Services PMI never registered sub-50 reading, current reading is consistent with statistically zero growth. Per Markit release, the index is now in a six=months long trend of falling PMI readings. “After a solid expansion in October, total new work placed at Chinese service providers rose only slightly in November. According to panellists, relatively weak market conditions had softened client demand in the latest survey period. Furthermore, September 2015 excepted, the latest increase in new work was the slowest seen in 16 months.”

Indian Services PMI posted a significant retrenchment from 53.2 in October to 50.1 in November, effectively signalling zero growth in the sector and falling to the lowest level in 5 months. 3mo average through November is at 51.5, well ahead of current month reading that matches exactly 3mo average through August 2015. 3mo average through November 2014 stood at 51.4. Per Markit: “Sub-sector data indicated that output growth in the Financial Intermediation, Post & Telecommunication, Renting & Business Activities and ‘Other Services’ categories was offset by declines at Transport & Storage and Hotels & Restaurants firms. In fact, the latter recorded a sharper rate of reduction. Indian services companies saw demand growth lose strength during November, leading to the slowest rise in incoming new work since July. Survey members blamed fierce competition and frail economic conditions for the slowdown in growth of new work.”

Brazil remains the weakest link in the BRIC group in terms of economic activity, with country Services PMI rising to 45.5 in November from 43.0 in October, still signalling sharp contraction in the sector, and marking ninth consecutive month of sub-50 readings. On a 3mo average basis, 3mo average through November was 43.4, which is an improvement on 3mo average through August 2015 (41.3) but down on 3mo average through November 2014 (49.3). Per Markit: “Sub-sector data highlighted a broad-based recession, with output, new business and employment falling across all six monitored categories. Leading services activity to decrease was a further drop in incoming new work, the ninth in as many months. Despite being the softest since August, the rate of reduction was sharp. Evidence from survey participants indicated that demand had been suppressed by the country’s fragile economic situation.”

Summary: Overall, therefore, BRIC services sectors have been performing poorly in November 2015, with no upside to growth form the sector in any economy. Brazil is the weakest performer in the group, with Russia being second weakest. India’s growth momentum of July-October 2015 is now exhausted, while China showing downward trend in Services growth since July 2015.

Next up: Composite PMIs and analysis

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