Brazilian industrial production fell 18.8% in April compared to the previous month, reflecting the effects of social isolation caused by the pandemic of covid-19, according to data released today by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), which served as a basis for the present news from the Lusa agency.
According to the same source of information, this was the sharpest drop since the beginning of the historical series of the Brazilian government's statistics agency, which started in 2002.
From January to April, the sector shrank 8.2%, and in the last 12 months, it fell 2.9%, according to IBGE, says Lusa.
In relation to April last year, the fall in Brazilian industrial production reached 27.2%, the sixth negative result followed in this comparison.
“The April result is clearly due to the greater number of stoppages by the various production units, in various industrial segments, due to the pandemic”, explained André Macedo, research manager at IBGE.
The expert mentioned that the month of March had already presented a negative result.
"Now, in April, we see a spread, with falls of historical magnitudes, double digits, in all economic categories and in 22 of the 26 activities surveyed," said Macedo, according to news from the Lusa agency.
Among the activities, the worst decline came from the automotive vehicle manufacturing sector (-88.5%), which was greatly pressured by production interruptions in several factories in the country.
There were also negative impacts of the pandemic on the manufacturers working with metallurgy (-28.8%), rubber and plastic products (-25.8%) and machinery and equipment (-30.8%).
Other relevant decreases came from the activities of oil products and biofuels (-18.4%) and beverages (-37.6%)
The production of essential products increased in Brazil.
This was the case for food products (3.3%) and pharmochemical and pharmaceutical products (6.6%), which increased again after falling by 1% and 11% in March, respectively.
Perfumery, soaps, cleaning products and personal hygiene also increased (1.3%), while the extractive sector was stable.
According to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, 555,383 confirmed cases and 31,199 deaths have been recorded since the new coronavirus was detected in the country in late February.
Globally, according to a report by the AFP news agency, the covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 380,000 deaths and infected almost 6.4 million people in 196 countries and territories.