Letter IEDI n. 1147—Industry: no expansion in April
After a weak performance in the first quarter of the year, the industry was flat in April 2022, registering a variation of only +0.1% in its production. It was the third consecutive positive rate in the seasonally adjusted series, which never happened last year, but it is worth noting the loss of dynamism over this period.
In Feb'22 and Mar'22, the figures had been +0.7% and +0.6%, respectively, more expressive than that of Apr'22, therefore. In addition, such sequence of highs did not have the necessary strength to fully compensate for the decline of last January and the level of output remained lower than that of Dec'21 (-0.5%).
Compared to the same period last year, there continued to be industrial contraction, but the picture also came closer to stability, with a rate of -0.5% in Apr'22. Only one macro-sector managed to grow: semi-durable and non-durable consumer goods (+3.3%), while intermediate goods avoided a fall, but barely moved (+0.1%).
The other two industrial groups were in the red: durable consumer goods (-25.2% compared to Apr'21), more vulnerable to the bottlenecks in production chains and the impacts of the interest rates hikes and of the fall in the population's purchasing power; and capital goods (-5.15), largely due to those produced for the industry itself (-11.3%), with emphasis on serial capital goods, usually demanded by larger and more complex investment projects.
The decline in the production of capital goods in 2022 marks three of the four months covered by IBGE data so far and consists of an important distinction in relation to the behavior presented throughout last year.
Thus, in Jan–Apr'22 versus the same period last year, the capital goods industry (-3.0%), as well as all other macro-sectors, saw production fall. The biggest loss of the year so far was in durable consumer goods (-17%), a leadership that is not new, it is worth saying. The mildest decreases were in intermediate goods and semi-durable and non-durable consumer goods (-2.5% in both cases).
Up to April, performance in 2022 was mostly negative across the 26 branches monitored by the IBGE, reaching 77% of them. In 31% of the total, the fall reached double-digit rates, that is, far beyond what the -3.4% figure for the industry as a whole might suggest.
The worst results came from furniture (-25%), textiles (-19.2%) and electric machines and appliances (-18.6%). Despite the important output falls, these sectors also had, according to the CNI's survey, above-planned inventories in Apr'22, with indicators at levels higher than the industry's aggregate (50.6 points), signaling the possibility of new rounds of production decreases.