Archive for June, 2009
There was a very interesting and revealing press conference given by IMF First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky and European Central Bank governing council member Christian Noyer in Paris on Thursday. Christian Noyer said that, in his opinion, Baltic countries like Latvia would not be helped by joining the single currency (the euro) prematurely. “It’s [...]
Everything in Germany is going up, except it seems the real economy – and except of course prices, which were stationary in May (that is a change of 0% year on year – the lowest inflation rate for over 20 years). Anyway, today it was the turn of investor confidence to put in another good [...]
Well that so called investor “risk appetite” took a surprise hit yesterday (and from an unexpected quarter). It wasn’t the worries about US fiscal deficits that caused the panic, but problems in the European banking system. Gwen Robinson reports: Risk appetite suffered a sharp deterioration on Monday as fresh uncertainty about the global economy prompted [...]
by Manuel Alvarez-Rivera, Puerto Rico An election is currently taking place in the 27 member countries of the European Union, to choose 736 members of the European Parliament for a term of five years. Some countries went to the polls on June 4, 5 and 6, but most are holding the election on Sunday, June [...]
Well, as Claus pointed out in his last post, Japanese data is pretty much a mixed bag at the moment. Industrial output shot up in April, and the May PMI data suggested that the easing of manufacturing contraction continued in May. However household spending and retail sales fell, unemployment rose, and the CPI reading suggested [...]
Global factory activity continued to improve in May amid growing optimism that the worst of the recession may be over. Output contracted at a much less ferociously than at the start of the year in one economy after another, and this month three countries actually registered output growth – India, China and Turkey. The JP Morgan global manufacturing index (PMI) rose to 45.3 in May from 41.8 in April, the highest level in nine months, although still a long way below the 50.0 mark dividing growth from contraction. The component indexes for output and new orders were both running at much higher levels than in April.
However, the headline PMI is still at a very low level by historic standards, and well below one which would be consistent with outright recovery. On the other hand, it is clear that the easing of the worldwide manufacturing recession which we have been seeing over the past two months has continued and has been substantial. The month-on-month gains in the PMI, output and new orders indexes in April and May are the greatest in the series history (which is not that surprising follow a series of record falls). All of the national indexes for these variables rose during the latest survey period.
Among the countries surveyed (see foot of post for details) only India, China and Turkey reported increased production. Japan (slowest for 13 months), the United States (weakest fall in current nine-month downturn) and the United Kingdom (slowest drop in a year) saw substantial easings in their respective rates of contraction. Although the Eurozone vastly underperformed relative to the global average, its output index rose to the greatest extent in survey history and to an eight-month high.
New orders contracted for the 14th month running in May, the longest period of contraction in the survey history. However, the Global Manufacturing New Orders Index climbed to 48.6, its highest level in a year. The rate of decline in global trade slowed sharply to its weakest since last September. China and India reported increases in total new orders for the second successive months in May. The U.S. and Turkey were the only other nations covered by the global survey to report gains, with new business rising for the first time in one-and-a-half years in the U.S. and for 17 months in Turkey.
Although May data pointed to substantial jobs losses, the rate of decline eased to a six-month low. Employment has now fallen for 14 successive months. Almost all of the nations covered reported lower staffing levels, the exceptions being India (slight gain) and China (no change). Among the other countries, only the U.S. and Austria failed to report slower rates of decline. The pace of job cutting eased to five, six and seven-month lows in the Eurozone, Japan and the U.K., respectively.
At 40.8 in May, the Global Manufacturing Input Prices Index posted its highest reading since October 2008 but remained below the neutral 50.0 mark for the eighth month running. Only India and Russia saw increases in costs. The rate of decline eased sharply in the U.S.
What follows is a very extensive country-by-country, blow-by-blow account assembled from across the national reports. It is probably too dense to read at one sitting, but you can simply pick and tick the regions and the countries that interest you, as I do think the monthly manufacturing PMIs give a reasonable picture of what is actually going on, as opposed to what some would like to believe is going on.