MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2014

SAO PAULO–Brazil’s manufacturing activity dropped in May, pointing to another weak performance of industrial activity in the second quarter.

The HSBC Brazil Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 48.8 in May from 49.3 in April. A level of 50 indicates stability in manufacturing activity.

“Firms reported the biggest contraction in output since October 2011 and the first m/m (month over month) decline in output prices since February 2012, reflecting weak demand conditions,” said Andre Loes, HSBC’s chief economist for Brazil, in a press release.

Brazil’s economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in the January-to-March period from the previous quarter, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, said last week. Compared with a year earlier, first-quarter growth was 1.9%.

The country’s weak economic performance in the first quarter was mainly hurt by tepid industrial activity in the period.