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March 6, 2018 | by    

Global Economic Analysis: Manufacturing Growth “Moderating” From Strong 2017 Pace

  • The J.P. Morgan global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell slightly in February, to 54.2 from 54.4 in January. The bank said, “[T]he PMI, along with the latest data on production and expenditures, indicate that goods-sector expansion is moderating from the red-hot pace of late 2017.”
  • The PMI for the Eurozone fell slightly, to 58.6 in February from 59.6 in January, but IHS/Markit said, “Although rates of increase in output and new orders eased further from the highs reached before the turn of the year, the sector is still enjoying one of its best growth spells over the past 18 years.” The IHS/Markit PMI for the United Kingdom fell to 55.2 in February from 55.3 in January due to a slight slowing in output growth.
  • Manufacturing readings were down all over Asia last month. The Caixin reading for China improved to 51.6 in February from 51.5 in January. Caixin said, “Manufacturing output in China continued to rise in February, albeit at a modest pace that was slightly softer than seen at the start of the year.” Japan’s index fell to 54.1 from 54.8 in January due to a slowing in output while India’s manufacturing reading declined, also due to slower growth in output. South Korea’s reading fell slightly due to a slower pace of output and new orders.
  • As a reminder, PMI readings from all countries can be found here.
  • U.S. global steel output increased just 0.8 percent between January 2017 and January 2018, the World Steel Association announced last week.
  • According to American Metal Market (AMM, subscription required), Chinese rebar exports fell 72 percent between January 2017 and January 2018. AMM also reported last week that stainless flat steel exports from China increased 29.4 percent year-over-year; cold-rolled coil exports from the country fell 36 percent between January 2017 and January 2018; and hot-rolled coil exports from China dropped 58.6 percent from a year earlier.