Overall, only one BRIC economy - Russia - provided solid support to global growth in January, with China providing a slight downward momentum and India and Brazil leading to a significant downside momentum.
Brazil’s Composite PMI continued to signal severe contraction at 44.7 in January, tanking deeper into a recessionary territory compared to December 2016 reading of 45.2. This makes 23rd consecutive month of contraction. Brazil registered recessionary PMIs in both Services and Manufacturing and in both sectors, January readings were no better than December. In simple terms, there is no light in the end of Brazil’s recessionary tunnel, yet.
Russia Composite PMI posted a robust upward improvement, rising from an already fast-paced 56.6 in December 2016 to 58.3 in January 2017, marking 12th consecutive month of above 50 readings and the highest Composite PMI level on record. Impressively, both Services and Manufacturing sectors PMIs rose in January, compared to December.
Chinese Composite PMI posted a significant slowdown in growth from 53.5 in December 2016 to 52.2 in January. Still, the index remains above 50 mark for 11th month in a row. Chinese Manufacturing PMI declined substantially in January, while Services posted a very modest drop. Importantly, Chinese Manufacturing PMI has now dropped below statistically significant above-50 reading, after just one month at the level close enough to being almost statistically significant.
Third month of sub-50 readings in Services PMI and anaemic 50.4 reading in manufacturing meant that India’s Composite PMI remained below 50.0 marker for the third consecutive month, posting 49.4 in January compared to 47.6 in December. Despite index improvement (signalling slower rate of economic activity contraction), Indian economy remains in recessionary dynamics, courtesy of the completely botched self-inflicted policy mayhem - the misguided demonetisation.
Table below summarises the most recent movements in Composite PMIs
Chart below shows Composite PMIs for BRICs (quarterly basis) against the Global Composite PMI, showing that the current global growth trend is still being supported by the BRICs, with primary positive impact coming from Russian figures.
The following chart summaries the sheer magnitude of Russian growth momentum compared to BRICs-ex-Russia:
However, the good news is that despite slippage in India and extreme weakness in Brazil, overall BRIC’s contribution to global growth continues to trend upward, albeit with some significant moderation since mid-4Q 2016: