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IHS Markit: Eurozone Manufacturing Activity Rose Again in May to another Six-Year High

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The IHS Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI inched up from 56.7 in April to 57.0 in May, its fastest pace since April 2011. This suggests that manufacturers in Europe have mostly brushed off political uncertainties, with economic growth on the continent continuing to trend in the right direction. The underlying data were encouraging, including new orders (unchanged at 57.7), output (up from 57.9 to 58.4), exports (up from 57.4 to 57.6) and employment (up from 55.5 to 56.2). Activity in Germany (up from 58.2 to 59.4) mirrored the larger Eurozone headline number, with its manufacturing PMI figure also rising to a 73-month high. At the same time, French manufacturers (down from 55.1 to 54.0) cited modest expansions in activity in May, even as it pulled back from April’s six-year high. The larger story for France, though, is that its manufacturing sector has expanded for eight straight months – a sign that its growth is beginning to turn around.

Meanwhile, the IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI eased to its slowest growth rate since September, down from 52.8 in April to 52.5 in May. It was the fourth consecutive monthly decline, down from 55.0 in January, which was the fastest growth rate in nearly two years. Nonetheless, we continue to see modest growth overall in sector nationally, even with decelerated accelerations across-the-board. This includes new orders (down from 53.7 to 53.4), output (down from 53.4 to 53.3), exports (down from 52.1 to 51.3) and hiring (down from 52.5 to 51.9). Looking ahead 12 months, manufacturers in the U.S. continued to be optimistic about future output (up from 65.9 to 66.5).

Markit: Eurozone Manufacturing Activity Rose Again in April to Another Six-Year High

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The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rose from 56.2 in March to 56.8 in April, its fastest rate since April 2011. While there continues to be a lot of political uncertainty on the continent, survey respondents in the sector have mostly brushed aside such concerns. Instead, they have focused on the fact that the Eurozone economy has trended generally in the right direction in recent months, with activity accelerating at a modest rate, and the headline PMI has trended higher since bottoming out at 51.2 in February 2016. Despite an election in France this weekend that could be quite consequential, depending on the results, manufacturing activity in that country (up from 53.3 to 55.1) accelerated to its fastest rate since April 2011, helping to lift the Eurozone data. At the same time, Germany (down from 58.3 to 58.2) edged slightly lower from its six-year high in April, but remained quite strong. Read More

Markit: Eurozone Manufacturing Activity Rose in March at Fastest Rate Since April 2011

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The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rose from 55.4 in February to 56.2 in March, its fastest rate since April 2011. As such, the continent’s economy continues to move in the right direction, with activity accelerating at a modest rate. The headline PMI has trended higher since bottoming at 51.6 thirteen months ago. The underlying data were mostly higher in March. New orders (up from 56.1 to 56.9), exports (up from 55.5 to 56.2) and employment (up from 54.3 to 55.1) each accelerated in the latest survey. In addition, output (down from 57.3 to 57.2) continued to expand rather strongly despite easing a little in this survey. Likewise, respondents remained upbeat about future output (down from 66.7 to 66.3) even though that measure has pulled back for the second straight month from January’s three-year high. Read More

Markit: Eurozone Manufacturing Activity Rose at Fastest Rate Since April 2011

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The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rose from 55.2 in January to 55.5 in February, its fastest rate since April 2011. As such, the continent’s economy continues to move in the right direction, with activity accelerating at a modest rate. The headline PMI has trended higher since bottoming out at 51.2 one year ago. The underlying data were mostly higher in February. New orders (up from 56.0 to 56.1), output (up from 56.1 to 57.2) and exports (up from 55.2 to 55.5) each accelerated somewhat in the latest survey. Hiring growth also continued to be promising despite pulling back a little from its quickest pace in nearly six years (down from 55.0 to 54.6). Likewise, respondents remained upbeat about future output (down from 66.9 to 66.3) even though that measure eased from its highest point since January 2014 in this release. Read More

Markit: U.S. Manufacturing Activity in January Grew at Strongest Rate Since March 2015

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The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI grew from 54.3 in December to 55.1 in January, its highest level since March 2015. This mirrored faster pace of expansions for new orders (up from 55.6 to 57.3), output (up from 55.1 to 56.7) and exports (up from 50.3 to 51.1). Demand growth was the strongest since September 2014. On the other hand, employment (down from 54.1 to 53.3) decelerated a bit in January but remained mostly encouraging. Looking ahead 12 months, manufacturers were optimistic about future output (up from 64.3 to 69.4), with that forward-looking index at a nine-month high. Overall, this report provides some encouragement for manufacturers, many of whom have been rather cautious in their economic outlook for much of the past two years. Read More

Markit: U.S. Manufacturing Output in December Grew at Strongest Rate Since March 2015

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The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI edged up from 54.1 in November to 54.2 in December, a 21-month high. This mostly mirrored assessments about new orders growth (up from 55.5 to 55.6), which also expanded at the fastest pace over that time frame. Other indicators were mixed but encouraging. Employment expanded at its highest rate in 18 months (up from 52.4 to 54.1), whereas output grew modestly but pulled back a little in December (down from 56.0 to 55.1). On a more disappointing note, exports slowed to a near crawl but were positive for the sixth time in the past seven months (down from 51.0 to 50.3). Softer international demand, however, should not be surprising given the strong U.S. dollar. Overall, this report provides some encouragement for manufacturers, many of whom have been rather cautious in their economic outlook for much of the past two years.

Meanwhile, it was a similar story at year’s end in Europe. The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI increased from 53.7 in November to 54.9 in December, a level not seen since April 2011. As such, the continent’s economy continues to move in the right direction, with activity accelerating at a decent rate. The headline PMI has trended higher since bottoming out at 51.2 in February. The underlying data were higher across the board in December, including new orders (up from 54.4 to 56.1), output (up from 54.1 to 56.1), exports (up from 54.1 to 54.7) and hiring (up from 53.4 to 53.7). In addition, manufacturers in France (up from 51.7 to 53.5) and Germany (up from 54.8 to 56.8) were also more upbeat. In particular, French manufacturing activity expanded at its fastest pace in 67 months, an impressive accomplishment given that the data were in contraction territory as recently as September.

Markit: U.S. Manufacturing Output in November Grew at Strongest Rate Since March 2015

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The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI rose from 53.4 in October to 53.9 in November, a 13-month high. More importantly, output grew at its strongest rate since March 2015 (up from 55.3 to 56.0), a sign that U.S. manufacturing activity has continued to stabilize from softness earlier in the year. Indeed, the headline index bottomed out in 2016 at 50.7 in May, and it has averaged 52.0 year-to-date through the first 11 months. Beyond production, other key indices were also stronger in November, including new orders (up from 54.7 to 55.5), exports (up from 50.9 to 51.0) and hiring (up from 51.6 to 52.4). Overall, this report provides some encouragement for manufacturers, many of whom have been rather cautious in their economic outlook for much of the past two years.

Meanwhile, the Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI increased from 53.5 to 53.7, its fastest pace since January 2014. As such, the continent’s economy continues to move in the right direction, with activity accelerating at a modest pace. Overall, the headline PMI has trended higher since bottoming at earlier in the year at 51.2 in February. New orders (up from 53.8 to 54.5) and exports (up from 53.4 to 54.1) were both stronger in this report. Yet, output (down from 54.6 to 54.1) and employment (down from 53.7 to 53.5) each pulled back a little in this survey despite expanding at a still-decent rate. In addition, manufacturers in Germany (down from 55.0 to 54.4) and France (down from 51.8 to 51.5) also reported some easing in growth in November, even as the underlying data continues to be quite positive for both.

Markit: Eurozone Manufacturing Activity Accelerated in October to a 2½-Year High

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The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI increased from 52.6 in September to 53.3 in October, its fastest pace since March 2014. As such, the continent continued to brush off post-Brexit worries, with activity accelerating in October at a modest pace. Overall, the headline PMI has trended higher since bottoming out at earlier in the year at 51.2 in February. The underlying indices were mostly higher, including new orders (up from 53.4 to 53.6), output (up from 53.8 to 54.4) and employment (up from 52.1 to 53.7). The only weakness was exports (down from 53.3 to 53.0), which pulled back slightly but remained a fairly decent pace of expansion. Read More

Markit: Manufacturing Sentiment Eased in Eurozone after Brexit Vote

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Interestingly, the last Markit survey’s responses on Eurozone manufacturing activity were due on June 23, the day of the “Brexit” vote for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union. In that survey, the Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rose to a six-month high, with stronger data in most European markets, including Germany and the U.K. Suffice it to say, the surprise – at least for financial markets – decision for Britain to leave the European Union has shifted sentiment since then. In the latest survey, the Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI fell to a two-month low, down from 52.8 in June to 51.9 to July, mainly on slowing new orders (down from 53.4 to 52.0). The composite measure, which includes the service sector, edged down from 53.1 to 52.9, its lowest level since January 2015 and off from 54.3 six months ago. Read More

On the Day of the “Brexit” Vote, Eurozone Manufacturing Activity Turned Higher in June

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The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rose from 51.5 in May to 52.6 in June, its highest level so far in 2016. The irony is that this news came out on the day of the “Brexit” vote, with the United Kingdom deciding whether or not to leave the European Union. Along those lines, the Markit Flash Eurozone Composite PMI, which includes services, declined from 53.1 to 52.8, its lowest point since January 2015. As such, even with encouraging industrial news, overall economic sentiment remained mixed, with modest growth that has slowed so far this year. Uncertainties related to the “Brexit” vote, combined with global headwinds, have added to those anxieties.

Nonetheless, manufacturers reported faster expansions for new orders (up from 51.7 to 53.4), exports (up from 50.9 to 52.5), output (up from 52.4 to 53.8) and employment (up from 51.2 to 52.1) in June. Demand and production grew at their fastest rate since December, recovering from the lull in May, which had been the slowest pace year-to-date. Overall, though, Eurozone manufacturers have now reported growth in the sector in every month since June 2013. Read More