UPDATE 1-Brazil industrial output plunges 8 percent in 2015

martes 2 de febrero de 2016 07:40 GYT
 

(Adds table, 2015 result, background)
    By Silvio Cascione
    BRASILIA, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Industrial output in Brazil fell
for a seventh straight month in December, capping the worst year
for manufacturers in more than a decade as they struggle with
inflation, high interest rates and political uncertainty.
    Output at factories and mines plunged 8.3 percent in 2015,
statistics agency IBGE said on Tuesday, the worst performance
since the data series started in 2003.
    Production fell 0.7 percent in December from
November after seasonal adjustments. Economists in a
Reuters poll expected output to remain stable.
    Manufacturers and miners cut nearly one fifth of their
production since a 2013 peak after Brazil fell into a deep
recession. Economists in a weekly central bank poll expect
industrial output to slip 4 percent this year.
    Production of capital goods fell 25.5 percent in 2015, 8.2
percent in December alone, as climbing interest rates
discouraged investment in machinery. Brazil's benchmark interest
rates are at a nine-year high of 14.25 percent. 
    Production of consumer goods also suffered as unemployment
and inflation curbed demand. More than 1.5 million jobs
disappeared last year.
    Latin America's largest economy nosedived after a ballooning
budget deficit prompted President Dilma Rousseff and the central
bank to raise taxes, cut spending and jack up interest rates
last year.
    The economy has also been dragged down by a massive
corruption scandal at state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA
, one of the country's largest companies, as it
struggled with a drop in global oil prices.
    Executives from top construction and engineering companies
are under investigation or in jail. 
    Industrial production in December retreated 11.9 percent
from a year earlier.

 (Percent change)                                m-m    y-y
 Capital goods                                  -8.2  -31.9
 Intermediate goods                              0.7  -11.4
 Consumer goods                                  1.0   -8.4
     Durable consumer goods                      9.4  -24.7
     Semi-durable and non-durable consumer       0.3   -4.2
 goods                                                
 Industrial output                              -0.7  -11.9
 
 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione Editing by W Simon)