UPDATE 1-Brazil industrial output posts biggest decline since 2009

martes 3 de febrero de 2015 08:27 GYT
 

(Adds details from IBGE report, context)
    RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian industrial
output closed 2014 with its biggest yearly decline since the
global financial crisis as a flatlining economy battered
business confidence and drove a sharp drop in capital goods
production.
    Output at factories and mines fell 3.2 percent in 2014 from
2013, statistics agency IBGE said on Tuesday, worse than the 3
percent drop forecast in a recent central bank poll of
economists.
    Capital goods production, which tends to track business
growth expectations, fell 9.6 percent in the year. Durable goods
production, which follows consumer confidence more closely,
dropped 9.2 percent.
    Consumer confidence plunged in January to the lowest level
since the data series began, while Brazilian industrial
confidence remains near historic lows. 
    Most economists say the steady decline of Brazilian industry
over the past three years is not about to reverse course in the
short-term as a drop in commodities prices and greater fiscal
tightening weighs on the nation's economy, which some analysts
expect will fall into recession this year.
    Hard-to-fix structural problems, such as tougher competition
from abroad, poor infrastructure at home, and high tax and labor
costs, are widely cited as further barriers to growth among
local manufacturers.
    December industrial production fell 2.8 percent from
November, IBGE said, surpassing the survey's estimate
for a 2.5 percent decline. It was the fourth straight month in
which the number came in worse than market estimates.
    Production fell in 17 of 24 industrial segments on a monthly
basis, with automobile and equipment manufacturing contributing
the most to the decline.
    Durable goods retreated 2.2 percent from November and 9.7
percent from December 2013 as heavier household debt loads and
higher interest rates sap demand for big-ticket items.
    Production dropped 2.7 percent in December from December
2013, greater than the median forecast of a 2.4
percent decline in a Reuters survey of 27 analysts.

    For details on the IBGE industrial output figures in
Portuguese, click bit.ly/1BRJdPt
    
 (Percent change)            Dec/Nov    Dec'14/Dec'13
 Capital goods               -23.0      -11.9
 Intermediate goods          -0.8       -1.5
 Consumer goods              -2.0       -3.2
     Durable consumer goods  -2.2       -9.7
     Semi-durable and        -1.7       -1.3
 non-durable consumer goods             
 Industrial output           -2.8       -2.7
                                        
 
 (Reporting by Pedro Fonseca and Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by
Asher Levine; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Chizu Nomiyama)