Brazil’s industrial output increased a seasonally adjusted 0.5% from February although it fell 2.1% compared with March 2010, the Brazilian Census Bureau, or IBGE, said Tuesday.
However March was the third consecutive month of rising output, after January's increase of 0.3%, and February's 2%. This followed a slackening in output in late 2010 when some industrial sectors wrestled with high import levels.
Output in March reached the highest level since the start of IBGE current statistical series which started in 1991. The number showed acceleration in the pace of output, despite the Carnival holiday which fell in March this year, said IBGE.
This is the third positive result in a row for industry in general and the quarter showed growth over the final quarter of 2010, IBGE industry coordinator Andre Luiz Macedo told reporters. It's a positive start to the year, although last year started with a higher pace of growth due to the reduction of taxes.
The fall versus March 2010 of 2.1% was attributed by Macedo to the fact that Carnival fell this year in March, reducing the month's number of working days by two.
The reduction of IPI consumer taxes which was in force in March 2010 also stimulated production and consumption at that time, altering the basis for comparison with the year-ago period, according to Macedo.
The IBGE reported the month's highlights were a 10.1% leap in output of electronic equipment and communications equipment, particularly TVs and mobile phones, over the previous month. Machinery and equipment production grew 1.8% and output of shoes and leather items 9.2% over February. Of the 27 sectors surveyed, 13 reported higher output, it said.
Intermediary goods output slipped 0.2% in March, but only following a rise of 1.3% in February, Macedo said. In the 12 months ended in March, Brazil's industrial output grew 6.8%.
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