Services grow 0.5% in August and reach the best level in 6 years – Prime Time Zone

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Activity registers the fifth consecutive month of positive result; in the year, the sector advanced 11.5%

Tânia Rêgo/Brazil AgencyThe sector maintains a high pace with the advance of immunization against Covid-19 and greater population mobility

A services provision grew 0.5% in August, compared to July, the fifth consecutive month of advance, according to data released this Thursday, 14, by Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). As a result, the sector is 4.6% above the pre-pandemic level and reaches the highest level since November 2015. Between April and August, the service sector accumulated a gain of 6.5%. Despite the positive sequence, the segment is losing steam and has been growing at a slower pace after hitting a high of 1.9% in May. In comparison with August 2020, the volume of services grew 16.7%, the sixth consecutive positive rate. In the accumulated result for the year, the sector increased 11.5%. In 12 months, changing from 2.9% in July to 5.1% in August, the sector maintained the upward trajectory started in February this year and reached the most intense rate of the historical series, started in December 2012. According to the research manager, Rodrigo Lobo, the good performance is a reflection of the population’s immunization against the new coronavirus and the increase in people’s mobility. “Since June of last year, the sector has accumulated 14 positive rates and only one negative, registered in March, when some activities considered non-essential were closed by determination of local governments amid the advance of the second wave of the coronavirus.”

The rise in the sector was leveraged by four of the five categories surveyed, with emphasis on information and communication services (1.2%) and transport (1.1%), after negative results in July. “The first was driven by software development and licensing services, portals and content providers and internet search tools, in addition to integrated editing and book printing. The second is for the air transport of passengers and operation of airports, as there was a greater flow of passengers moving and increasing the revenue of airlines and airport concessionaires. I also highlight the cargo logistics part”, says Lobo. Services rendered to families increased 4.1% in August, the fifth positive rate since April, accumulating growth of 50.5%. This advance comes, again, from the accommodation segment and food, like hotels and restaurants. Even with the advance in August, services provided to families operate 17.4% below the level of February 2020. With the smaller impact on the index, other services (1.5%) eliminated the decrease of the previous month (-0.2 %). “This activity was driven by auxiliary financial services and, to a lesser extent, by post-harvest services related to agriculture, such as hiring labor for harvesting the crop or planting some agricultural product and leasing machinery. Once the harvest is done, there is a set of services that are used in this agricultural process”, explains Lobo.

Professional, administrative and complementary services, on the other hand, dropped 0.4% in August, after three consecutive positive rates, when they accumulated a gain of 4.1%. With this negative result, the sector was once again 0.2% below the pre-pandemic level, joining the services provided to families. “This 0.4% decline is an accommodation of the pace of growth. Negative pressure came from legal activities, technical activities related to architecture and engineering, and electronic payments solutions. As a result, we now have two sectors that are operating below February 2020: professional, administrative and complementary services and services provided to families”, observes the PMS manager. the index of tourist activities advanced 4.6% in August compared to July. It is the fourth positive rate in a row, a period in which it accumulated growth of 49.1%. It should be noted that the tourism indicator is still 20.8% below the level of February last year.