The Day at a Glance | March 24 2023

*The General Index of Economic Activity (IGAE for its initials in Spanish) surprised to the upside in January. 

*PMI`s in the Eurozone showed mixed results in March. The manufacturing index set at 47.1 points – below estimates (49.0e.) and the previously recorded 48.5. On the other hand, the services index increased to a 10-month high (55.6), bringing the composite index to 54.1 points. 

*PMI`s in the US improved during March. The manufacturing index increased to 49.3 points (47.3 prev.), while the services index increased to 53.8 points (50.6 prev.), leading the composite index to set at 53.3 points, its highest reading since June of 2022. 

*The sale of new homes in the US logged a 1.1% monthly increase in February after January`s figures were revised downwards. With this, the annualized figure set at 640,000 units, the largest since August 2022. 

*The Kansas City Federal Reserve`s manufacturing index for March remained unchanged at 0 units, surpassing the estimated -2 points. Progress was logged in production (3 vs -9 prev.), shipments (6 vs -13 prev.), and exports (3 vs -5 prev.). 

Economic environment

The IGAE increased 0.56% monthly in January (vs 0.35% prev.), surpassing the estimated 0.1%. This performance in monthly figures derived entirely from the tertiary sector, which increased 1.16% m/m (the fastest rate since April 2022), and was boosted by robust progress in retail trade (2.36% m/m); transportation (4.47% m/m); accommodation services (3.32% m/m) and professional services (1.62% m/m). On the other hand, secondary activities logged a marginal monthly decline of -0.01%; construction decreased -0.99% m/m, while primary activities (the component with the lowest contribution) recorded a larger decline (-5.71% m/m). With this, on an annual basis, the IGAE surprised to the upside and logged a 3.6% figure, which exceeded the estimated Timely Indicator of Economic Activity (IOAE) that forecasted a 3.3% annual figure. Similarly, a surprise came from tertiary activities, which logged a 4.5% annual figure, exceeding the estimated IOAE of 3.5%. The expansion logged in trade (both wholesale and retail) – along with tourism related activities – stood out. Overall, January`s IGAE figures showed that the services sector continues to grow at a solid pace at the start of 2023, compensating for a slowdown in the industrial sector. 

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