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May 11, 2015

Global Economic Analysis and News of Note

  • Chinese imports fell 16.2 percent from April 2014 to April 2015 while exports declined 6.4 percent. According to The Associated Press, “Total imports and exports in the first four months of the year contracted by 7.6 percent compared with a year earlier … [making] it increasingly unlikely the ruling party could achieve its target of 6 percent trade growth this year.”
  • The JP Morgan global purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 51.0 in April, a 21-month low, from 51.7 in March. The bank reported, “The slowdown was broad-based in nature. Rates of expansion in previous standout performers the US and the UK were at four-and five- month lows respectively, China stagnated and Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all contracted.”
  • Manufacturing readings in Asia were mixed in April. The HSBC PMI for China fell to 48.9 in April from 49.6 in March as new orders and employment declined. According to HSBC China’s “pace of deterioration was the strongest seen in a year.” South Korea’s manufacturing sector showed no improvement in April while activity in Vietnam’s sector picked up and Taiwan’s sector contracted.
  • The Markit PMI for the Eurozone fell to 52.0 in April from 52.2 in March. France’s manufacturing sector remained in the contractionary zone while readings in Germany, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and Greece also all declined. 
  • The HSBC PMI for India fell to 51.3 in April from 52.1 in March. HSBC said, ““Despite recording softer rates of expansion, the Indian manufacturing sector held its ground in April, benefitting from ongoing improvements in operating conditions.” As a reminder, all PMI readings are available here.