The IHS Markit Brazil manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) came in at 50.2, a sharp drop from 52.9 in November and the slowest pace of expansion since July, almost to the point of stagnation. Employment shrank and new export orders slumped to their lowest in over a decade. “This indicates that the sector has only made a marginal contribution to economic growth in Q4,” said Pollyanna De Lima, principal economist at IHS Markit.
Brazil’s trade surplus shrank 20% to $46.67 billion last year, the smallest since 2015 ($19.5 billion), amid one of the most severe recessions in the country’s history. According to data released by the Economy Ministry total exports in 2019 were $224 billion and imports were $177.3 billion. Trade Secretary Lucas Ferraz said that surplus in 2020 could be even smaller, as strengthening domestic demand lifts overall economic growth to around 2.3% and spurs imports more than exports.