As shown above, Manufacturing PMIs across the BRIC economies trended lower over 3Q 2017 in Brazil and India, when compared to 2Q 2017, while trending higher in Russia and China.
- Brazil posted second lowest performance for the sector in the BRIC group, barely managing to stay above the nominal 50.0 mark that defines the boundary between growth and contraction in the sector activity. Statistically, 50.6 reading posted in 3Q 2017 was not statistically different from 50.0 zero growth. And it represents a weakening in the sector recovery compared to 50.9 reading in 2Q 2017. Brazil’s Manufacturing sector has now been statistically at zero or negative growth for 18 quarters in a row.
- Meanwhile, Russian Manufacturing PMI rose from 51.2 in 2Q 2017 to 52.1 in 3Q 2017, marking fifth consecutive quarter of expansion in the sector (nominally) and fourth consecutive quarter of above 50.0 (statistically). With this, Russia is now back at the top of Manufacturing sector growth league amongst the BRIC economies. However, 3Q 2017 reading was weaker than 4Q 2016 and 1Q 2017, suggesting that the post-recession recovery is not gaining speed.
- China Manufacturing PMI rose in 3Q 2017 to 51.2 from zero growth of 50.1 in 2Q 2017. The dynamics are weaker than in Russia, but similar in pattern, with 3Q growth being anaemic. In general, since moving above 50.0 mark in 3Q 2016, China Manufacturing PMIs never once rose above 51.3 marker, indicating very weak growth conditions in the sector.
- India’s Manufacturing PMI tanked again in 3Q 2017 falling to 50.1 (statistically – zero growth) from 51.7 in 2Q 2017. Most recent peak in Manufacturing activity in India was back in 3Q 2016 and 4Q 2016 at 52.2 and 52.1 and these highs have not been regained since then. India’s economy continues to suffer from extremely poor macroeconomic policies adopted by the country in recent years, including botched tax reforms and horrendous experimentation with ‘cashless society’ ideas.
Overall, BRIC Manufacturing Index (computed using my methodology on the basis of Markit data) has risen to 51.0 in 3Q 2017 on foot of improved performance in Russia and China, up from 50.6 in 2Q 2017 and virtually matching 51.1 reading in 1Q 2017. At 51.0, the index barely exceed statistical significance bound of 50.9. This runs against the Global Manufacturing PMI of 52.9 in 3Q 2017, 52.6 in 2Q 2017 and 52.9 in 1Q 2017. In simple terms, the last quarter was yet another (18th consecutive) of BRIC Manufacturing PMI falling below Global Manufacturing PMI, highlighting a simple fact that world’s largest emerging and middle-income economies are no longer serving as an engine for global growth.
Stay tuned for Services PMIs analysis.