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Brazil Service Sector Expands At A Slower Pace In March

4/4/2012 9:54 AM ET

Brazil's service sector expanded at a slower pace in March, after growing to a five year high in February, data from a survey by HSBC bank and Markit Economics showed Wednesday.

The purchasing mangers' index (PMI) for the service sector declined to 53.8 in March from 57.1 in February. In January, the index reading was 55. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. The service sector expanded for the 32nd consecutive month in March.

New business received by the service providers increased at solid rate in March. The rate of increase was, nonetheless, the weakest since last November.

Employment in the private sector increased for the sixth consecutive month in March. Both manufacturing and service sector hired additional staff, with the strongest increase coming from the service sector.

Input price inflation increased during the month as higher raw materials prices contributed to the overall rise in cost. Business expectation in the service sector increased to an all time high in March.

The composite output index, which covers both the manufacturing and service sectors, declined to 53.4 in March from 55.5 in February.

by RTT Staff Writer

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