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 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 (down from 55.0 to 54.6) also continued to be promising despite pulling back a little from its quickest pace in nearly six years. 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
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.
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.
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
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
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
U.S. manufacturing activity grew at the slowest pace since September 2009, according to preliminary figures from Markit. The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI decreased from 51.5 in March to 50.8 in April. In general, the strong dollar and weaknesses abroad have dampened international demand and overall sentiment over the course of the past year. Manufacturing activity has decelerated significantly over the past 12 months, with the main PMI number down from 54.2 in April 2015. In this report, output (down from 51.4 to 50.3) and hiring (down from 52.1 to 50.2) each pulled back to a near-standstill, with exports (down from 50.0 to 48.5) contracting for the second time in the past three months. On the other hand, new orders (down from 52.8 to 52.0) continued to expand modestly, but with some easing for the month.
As such, this report stands in sharp contrast to the better-than-expected sentiment seen in the competing data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). In that release, new orders and output each grew surprisingly strong in March, lifting its manufacturing PMI value above 50 for the first time since August. It provided some encouragement after months of softness, even as other economic data – including this one from Markit – continue to suggest ongoing challenges. Read More
After rebounding somewhat in October, activity pulled back again in November, according the most recent Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI data. The composite measure declined from 54.1 in October to 52.6 in November, its lowest level since October 2013. The headline index peaked for the year at 55.7 in March, with activity decelerating since then. Exports (down from 51.6 to 49.5) returned to negative territory in November, a sign of just how much the stronger dollar and weaknesses abroad have dampened international demand and overall sentiment. Other indices reflected slower growth for the month, even as there continued to be modest expansions in activity. This included new orders (down from 55.5 to 53.1), output (down from 55.4 to 54.6) and employment (down from 52.9 to 51.9). Read More
The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI edged ever-so-slightly higher, up from 51.0 in January to 51.1 in February. This suggests very modest growth in manufacturing activity in February, with better data for new orders (up from 50.6 to 50.9), output (up from 52.1 to 52.2) and exports (up from 50.7 to 51.8). Hiring in the Flash Eurozone Composite PMI, which includes all segments of the economy, rose to its highest level since August 2011, but this was primarily in the service sector. Indeed, for manufacturers, the pace of employment growth was unchanged in February at 50.6. Read More
Here are the files for this month’s Global Manufacturing Economic Update:
It has become increasingly clear over the past few weeks that North America stands out as a bright spot in an ever-challenging global economic environment. Real GDP in the United States grew an annualized 4.2 percent in the second and third quarters, and U.S. manufacturers remain mostly optimistic about the next year. Indeed, the U.S. economy is expected to expand by around 3 percent, its fastest rate in a decade. Likewise, Canada and Mexico — our two largest trading partners — have made improvements in their respective economies since earlier this year. Canada has the distinction of having the highest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) of any of our top 10 trading partners, holding steady in November at 55.3. Read More