Brazil's industry posted a 0.8% increase in revenues in January 2008 compared with December 2007, in the series free from seasonal influences. It was the sixth consecutive month in which the indicator grew.
In comparison with January 2007, the growth totaled 10.5%, according to the Industrial Indicators survey, disclosed by the National Confederation of Industries (CNI).
The growth in revenues was accompanied by an expansion of employment, wages and hours worked in production. "The pace of expansion in activity is intense," says the survey, conducted on a monthly basis with average- and large-sized industries in 12 different states.
Another good piece of news is the fact that the level of use of the installed capacity has not been pushed up by the constant increase in production. In the series free from seasonal adjustments, the use of installed capacity stood at 83.1% in January, the same rate as in December.
"This is a sign that the production capacity of the plants has been growing, which points to a maturing of investment," claims the survey.
According to the survey, January was the 26th consecutive month of rising industrial employment. The indicator recorded an expansion of 0.8% in January compared with December 2007, in the seasonally adjusted series.
Thirteen out of the nineteen sectors surveyed opened new job positions in the first month of the year. The industries that hired the most were those of food and beverages, machinery and equipment, and motor vehicles.
As employment grew, workers' wages have risen as well. In January, wages grew 7.5% compared with the same month last year. But that does not mean that there has been a widespread increase in the average income of workers.
According to the survey, 70% of the increase recorded in wages is a result of the greater number of employees, and only 30% represent actual gain for workers.
Among the sectors surveyed, 14 recorded a rise in wages, the highlights being the food and beverage industry, machinery and equipment, electronic and communication material, and motor vehicles.
Hours worked in production grew 0.7% in January compared with December 2007 in the seasonally adjusted series. A large share of that performance was driven by the restocking of inventories. "On average, companies entered 2008 with inventories below a desirable level," informs the survey by the CNI.
The survey shows that, in a comparison between January 2008 and January 2007, hours worked in production grew 7%, the highest rate in the last three years.
200 Years of Industry
The CNI will promote, from March 25 to May 25, the Exhibit 200 Years of Industry in Brazil. The show, which will occupy an area of 1,250 square meters (13,455 square feet) at the Museum of the Automobile, in the Brazilian capital Brasília, is comprised of 252 items representing the history of the industry.
Items include machines, decorative objects, garments, automobiles, artwork, films, photographs and others, lent by private collectors and museums, Brazilian and foreign.
The items reveal the changes that occurred in the industry over the course of two centuries and the transformation in the habits of the population, since the arrival of the Portuguese royal family in Brazil in 1808.
"Industry is the result of culture, therefore one cannot separate industrial development from cultural evolution," says the curator for the exhibit, Julio Heilbron.
In order to house the exhibit, the Museum of the Automobile is undergoing renovation since January 15th. It received new painting and flooring, and will have nearly all of external area renewed for the installation of tents, which will provide backup to the exhibit. The show will be free of charge and will be open to the public on March 26th.