Brazil's Industrial Confidence Index (ICI), as measured by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), had the lowest variation in the last four months, having decreased by 2.2%, from 123 to 120.3 points from late August to early September.
In comparison with September last year, the confidence index was 1.9% lower, but compared with August 2007, it rose by 0.9%.
According to the FGV, the reduction points to "a slowdown in the pace of industrial activity in September." Other surveys on the sector's behavior point to a slowdown as well: the Current Situation Index saw a reduction of 2.5%, from 124.4 to 123.3 points, and the Expectations Index decreased 1.1%, from 121.5 to 117.3 points.
The survey shows that there were more companies with excess inventory levels (5%) than with insufficient ones (2%). The survey also shows that, even though the majority of companies surveyed plan on increasing job openings, there is greater caution now than in the previous survey.
Of the 1,042 companies surveyed, 32% consider hiring further personnel over the next three months and 6% manifested an intention of dismissing employees. In September last year, 37% stated that they were going to hire, and 7% claimed that they were going to dismiss workers.