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December 10, 2018

Global Manufacturing Readings Shaky In December

Manufacturing indices for countries around the globe were mixed in December:

  • The J.P. Morgan global purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was 52.0, unchanged from October’s 23-month low, due to the fact that growth of output and new orders remained below their respective long-run averages. Manufacturing business conditions improved in the United States, the Eurozone, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and India, but fell in South Korea, Italy, Taiwan, Mexico, Poland, Turkey, Thailand, and Malaysia.
  • In Europe, the IHS Markit reading for the Eurozone stayed above the crucial 50-point mark, but came in at 51.8 in November, down from 52.0 in October and the lowest reading since August 2016. The IHS Markit index for the United Kingdom found manufacturing performance “remained comparatively lackluster, with the latest PMI reading still among the weakest registered over the past two-and-a-half years.”
  • Readings in Asia were mixed. In China, Caixin said goods producers saw a slightly quicker, but still marginal, increase in total new orders” and data “indicated that weaker external demand continued to weigh on overall sales, as export orders declined further midway through the final quarter.” Additionally, new business from abroad has fallen in each of the past eight months. According to Nikkei, the ASEAN manufacturing sector, which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, saw a marginal improvement in operating conditions due to higher output. Nikkei also reported that Japan’s manufacturing sector continued to expand, albeit to the weakest extent since August 2017 and that business confidence in South Korea was at its lowest level since August 2016. Nikkei’s index for India improved and signaled the strongest improvement in the health of the sector in nearly a year.
  • As a reminder, reports for all available PMI readings can be found here.