The state of Ceará in Northeast Brazil is only just emerging fully from lockdown. However, the economy has been functioning for several weeks. And as a result, industrial production in Ceará is already showing signs of a strong recovery. The figures for July were the highest in Brazil and four times higher than those for Sao Paulo, the country’s industrial hub.
Industrial production in Ceará soars
Data released in early September shows that industrial production in the state has increased substantially since lockdown. In both June and July, Ceará saw a sharp increase in many sectors. In the latter month, the state registered the highest figure in Brazil.
Compared to June, July production increased by 34.5% to reach the highest increase in the country. The figure towers over the regional average – production in the Northeast went up by 17.5% - and other Brazilian industrial hubs such as Sao Paulo.
“It looks as if the most difficult phase of the pandemic in terms of the economy is starting to fade away,” said Maia Júnior, Secretary of Economic Development and Employment (SEDET). “In June and July, not just in shops, but agriculture and particularly industry, the results were very good.”
Good prospects for the rest of 2020
The textile and footwear sectors led the way to the return to industrial production in Ceará in June. In July, tourism took up the baton as the state reopened to visitors. Food production showed particularly impressive results in July with a 36.7% increase with the metal sector in second place with a rise of 26.7%.
Despite the pandemic, Ceará industrial production rose by 2.7% in the year to July. Júnior believes that the figures augur well for the rest of the year. She has high expectations for the Ceará economy between now and December because of high demand in the run up to Christmas.
New company creation in the black
Job creation is also fundamental in the recovery of the economy after lockdown and the authorities expect this to increase in tandem with higher economic activity. This is also obvious in the figures for new companies in Ceará.
In the eight months to August, 56,528 new companies opened in Ceará despite lockdown and restrictions on the economy. The majority (over 30,000) were in the services sector with a sizeable percentage (around 37%) as shops.
Between January and July, 18,124 companies closed in the state leaving a balance of 38,404 new enterprises. SEDET believe that the new registrations will boost employment considerably. In addition, they'll pave the way for even higher industrial production in Ceará in the rest of 2020.