Volume of services grows 1.1% in July and reaches the highest level in five years; given is in line with expected

SAO PAULO – The volume of services in Brazil increased by 1.1% in July compared to June, according to the Monthly Survey of Services (PMS) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) released this Tuesday (14).

This was the fourth consecutive positive rate, accumulating a gain of 5.8% in the period. As a result, the sector is 3.9% above the pre-pandemic level in February 2020, and also reaches the highest level since March 2016. Even with the advance, the sector is still 7.7% below the record historic, achieved in November 2014.

In comparison with July 2020, the volume of services increased 17.8%, the fifth consecutive positive rate. In the year, the sector grew 10.7% compared to the same period of the previous year. In 12 months, changing from 0.4% in June to 2.9% in July, it maintained the upward trend started in February this year (-8.6%).

The number was practically in line with expectations. The projection, according to the Refinitiv consensus, was up 1% compared to June and 18% in the annual comparison.

The result of the sector in July was pulled by only two of the five activities, in particular, by services provided to families (3.8%), which accumulated a gain of 38.4% between April and July. Professional, administrative and complementary services increased by 0.6%, with growth of 4.3% in the last three months, and surpassed, for the first time, the pre-pandemic level, being 0.5% above February 2020.

“These two activities are precisely those that lost the most in the most acute months of the pandemic. These are activities with services of a face-to-face nature that gradually come with the flexibility and advancement of vaccination, trying to recover the loss caused between March and May of last year”, explains the research analyst, Rodrigo Lobo.

In services provided to families, the highlight is the performance of the hotel, restaurant, catering and theme park segments, which tend to grow in July due to school holidays. In professional, administrative and complementary services, emphasis on legal activities, engineering services and electronic payment solutions.

Despite the advance in July, services provided to families operate 23.2% below the level of February 2020. This is the only one of the five activities that has not yet surpassed the pre-pandemic level.

“This is understandable since this is the activity in which there is the greatest concentration of services provided in person. It is an activity that deals with supply restrictions. Some establishments have closed and others have reopened, but they are not yet operating at full capacity. On the demand side, there is pressure due to the lack of advances in the mass of household income and the high level of unemployment, which prevent this service from growing in the same way as the others within the sector”, adds Rodrigo Lobo.

With negative impacts on the general index, information and communication services (-0.4%), transport, auxiliary services to transport and mail (-0.2%) and other services (-0.5%) had variations below one percentage point.

Although face-to-face activities grew in July, Lobo notes that it is the off-site activities that have been sustaining the recovery of the services sector since the most acute phase of the pandemic, between March and May of last year. From June last year to July this year, the sector has 13 positive rates, with the exception of the rate last March, which had a negative variation due to the closing of activities considered non-essential due to the second wave of the new coronavirus.

(with IBGE News Agency)

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