Global PMI Scorecard (Oct. 2011): Growth Falters, With Exception of Japan

Growth in global economic activity faltered in October after accelerating in September. The global manufacturing sector slipped into recession territory while growth in the services sector slowed markedly.

The JP Morgan Global Composite Index fell to 51.4 after rising to 52.0 in September from 51.5 in August. The drop in the composite PMI is mainly attributed to a significant drop in my calculated GDP-weighted PMI for the Eurozone to 46.6 from 48.7 in September. Germany’s composite PMI at a 27-month low indicates that economic activity in the private sector has virtually stagnated while economic activity in France, Italy and Spain at 28 to 30-month lows has contracted severely. Growth in the U.K. weakened considerably to stagnation levels.

My GDP-weighted Composite ISM PMI for the U.S. in October eased to 52.4 from 52.7 in September, indicating continued but below-par growth.

Growth in China also eased on a non-seasonally as well as a seasonally adjusted basis.

Japan was the exception to the rule among developed economies. According to Markit, Japanese private sector activity rose for the first time since February as the composite output index breached the neutral 50.0 threshold. The composite PMI jumped from a contracting 47.0 to a highest reading of 52.4 since data were first compiled in September 2007.

Economic activity in emerging economies improved somewhat. Brazil has returned to growth again. Growth in India and Russia edged up marginally while the contraction in Hong Kong eased markedly.

GDP-weighted/ Composite PMI Direction

Rate of change

Country Oct-11 Sep-11
U.S.*** 52.4 52.7 Growing Slower
Eurozone**** 46.6 48.7 Contracting Faster
Germany* 50.3 50.5 Growing/stagnating Slower
France* 45.6 50.2 Contracting From growing
U.K.**** 50.2 52.4 Growing/stagnating Slower
Japan* 52.4 47.4 Growing From contracting
Emerging Economies
China** 53.3 54.4 Growing Slower
China S/A** 52.2 52.9 Growing Slower
Brazil* 51.3 48.5 Growing From contracting
India* 50.3 50.2 Growing/stagnating Faster
Russia* 52.5 52.3 Growing Faster
Hong Kong* 49.0 45.9 Contracting Slower
UAE* 53.4 52.3 Growing Faster
Saudi Arabia* 56.7 56.3 Growing Faster
JP Morgan Global Composite* 51.4 52.0 Growing Slower

Sources: *Markit; **CFLP, Li & Fung, Plexus; ***ISM, Plexus Asset Management; ****Markit, Plexus Asset Management.

The JP Morgan Global Services PMI for October eased to 51.8 from 52.6 in September on the back of a significant deepening in the contraction in the Eurozone and especially France, Italy and Spain. The Germans are holding out, though, and have managed to eke out some growth from contracting in September. The services sector in the U.K. continues to exhibit some growth but at a reduced rate, while growth in Ireland accelerated slightly. Australia’s services sector is under the water again while growth in the services sector in China is weakening. The U.S.’s ISM non-manufacturing PMI continued its slightly weaker trend with the PMI marginally lower at 52.9 from 53.0 in September. However, it surprised the market on the downside as the consensus was for a rise to 53.5. The Business Activity Index fell sharply from a robust 57.1 to 53.8.

Among the BRICS countries Brazil made a huge turnaround as its services PMI jumped to 53.6 from 50.5 in September. Russia experienced a slight acceleration in growth but the contraction in India’s services sector has deepened.

Non-manufacturing/

Services PMI

Direction Rate of Change
Country Oct-11 Sep-11
U.S.** 52.9 53.0 Growing Slightly slower
U.S. BAI*** 53.8 57.1 Growing Slower
Eurozone 46.4 48.8 Contracting Faster
Germany 50.6 49.7 Growing From contracting
France 44.6 51.5 Contracting From growing
Italy 43.9 45.8 Contracting Faster
Spain 41.8 44.8 Contracting Faster
Ireland 51.5 51.3 Growing Slightly faster
U.K. 51.3 52.9 Growing Slower
Japan 52.3 46.4 Growing From contracting
Australia 48.8 50.3 Contracting From growing
Emerging Economies
Brazil 53.6 50.5 Growing Faster
China* 57.7 59.3 Growing, robust Slower
China S/A* 54.6 57.0 Growing Slower
India 49.1 49.8 Contracting Faster
Russia 53.5 53.3 Growing Slightly faster
JP Morgan Global Services 51.8 52.6 Growing Slower

Sources: Markit; CFLP*; ISM**; US Business Activity Index***; Plexus Asset Management.

This post originally appeared at Investment Postcards from Cape Town and is reproduced with permission.