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Brazilian Manufacturing Sector Contracts In April

5/2/2012 9:17 AM ET

Activity in the Brazilian manufacturing sector decreased in April, after growing in the previous months, data from a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector dropped to 49.3 in April from 51.1 in March, marking the first deterioration in operating conditions in 2012 so far. A PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector, while one above suggests growth.

New orders received by manufacturing firms in April decreased at the strongest pace since November 2011, driven mainly by weaker client demand. Output at factories declined at the fastest pace in six months, reversing the the increases reported in each of the past three months.

At the same time, firms reduced their workforces in April, though marginally, ending a three-month period of job creation. Input costs increased to a four-month high in April, driven mainly by higher prices of raw materials, particularly steel and resin, data showed.

by RTT Staff Writer

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