Despite the 4.5% growth in the industry’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021, the sector’s productivity fell by 4.6% last year, the biggest fall in the historical series calculated by the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) since 2000 .
With the direct impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on the economy since 2020, the industry has accumulated a productivity loss of 5% in the last two years, returning to the levels of 2016. Until then, the biggest drop in the indicator had occurred in 2008, when industry productivity fell by 2.2% amid the international financial crisis.
The lowest productivity is calculated as a function of working hours in factories and the volume of goods produced. Compared to 2020, the industrial park operated 9.3% longer last year, while production increased by only 4.3% in the same comparison.
“This slowdown reflects the effects of the second wave of covid-19, which occurred at the beginning of the year, and the difficulties faced in the resumption of investments and production. In addition to old bottlenecks, such as the complexity of the tax system, there are problems with the lack or high cost of inputs and raw materials”, evaluated the manager of Industrial Policy at CNI, Samantha Cunha.
Industry productivity fell in all quarters of 2021. The biggest drop was at the beginning of the year – during the second wave of contagion by the Ômicron variant of the new coronavirus. In comparison with the last quarter of 2020, the fall was 4.2%. In the other quarters of the year, productivity continued to fall by around 1% in each.
Even so, CNI believes that the sector’s productivity should resume its growth trajectory – albeit low – starting this year. In 2018 and 2019, for example, the indicator grew by 0.8% and 0.9%, respectively. In the long term, however, there can be a sustained increase in productivity, as long as there are investments in innovation, such as 5G and technologies linked to Industry 4.0.