Coronavirus

Services sector fell 4 percent in March amid pandemic chaos

services Bars and restaurants were heavily affected by restrictions. Photo: SECOM/Salvador
Bars and restaurants were heavily affected by restrictions. Photo: SECOM/Salvador

The tightening of pandemic-related restrictions early this year once again crippled Brazil’s services sector, which relied heavily on the functioning of the in-person economy. Compared with the previous month, the sector suffered a 4-percent drop in business volume in March, the worst monthly performance since April 2020. 

In the wake of the results, the National Confederation of Trade in Goods, Services, and Tourism (CNC) reduced its sector growth forecasts for this year, from 4.2 percent to 4 percent.  

While March and April were plagued with coronavirus restrictions, monthly losses are set to fall amid reopening processes nationwide. However, CNC president José Roberto Tadros points out that “the slow progress and interruptions in vaccination in several regions of the country suggest a slow pace of recovery in tertiary activities this year.”

Last year, the services sector recorded its worst performance on record, with a slide of 7.8 percent across the whole of 2020.