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April 4, 2016

Global Economic Analysis and News of Note: Manufacturing Readings Mixed

  • The JP Morgan global purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 50.5 in March from 50.0 in February as readings for new orders and production improved. JP Morgan Senior Economist Joseph Lupton said, “The March PMI data hint at a modest improvement in global industry, arresting the downward trend in place since late last year. The level remains low, however, and further gains need to be seen to get global industry back on track after what has been a long stretch of soft growth.”
  • Markit’s PMI for the Eurozone rose to 51.6 in March from 51.2 in February. Individual nations’ readings were stronger everywhere except France, where the PMI was at a seven-month low, and Greece, where the manufacturing industry is still contracting. Markit Chief Economist Craig Williamson noted, “Policymakers will also be worried by the further intensification of deflationary pressures in manufacturing supply chains, with prices charged at the factory gate falling at the steepest rate since late-2009.” The Markit PMI for the United Kingdom, meanwhile, rose to 51.0 in March from 50.8 as production improved.
  • Readings were mixed in Asia last month. China’s Caixin PMI rose to 49.7 in March, its highest reading in 13 months, from 48.0 in February as new orders and output improved. Despite the improved reading, manufacturers in China continued to shed jobs. The Nikkei PMI for Japan fell to 49.1 in March from 50.1 in February as production declined for the first time in nearly a year and new orders fell at their fastest pace in two years. South Korea’s PMI edged up slightly, to 49.5 in March from 48.7 in February, but production slowed for the third month in a row. There were a few bright spots: India’s index rose to 52.4 in March from 51.1 in February as production picked up at its fastest pace since last summer; Taiwan’s index rose to 51.1 in March from 49.4 in February; and Vietnam’s increased to 50.7 from 50.3. As a reminder, all PMI reports can be found here