Europe just unloaded a slew of manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) data.
These are the numbers derived from surveys of businesses. Anything above 50 signals growth, and anything below signals contraction.
“July saw the Eurozone Manufacturing PMI hold steady at June’s seven-month low of 51.8, as the ongoing expansions in Germany and outside of the big-two economies were partly offset by a deeper downturn in French manufacturers.”
Here’s a quick summary of what we learned in July:
UK (55.4 in July, down from the flash estimate of 57.2): “The UK manufacturing sector started the third quarter on a firm footing,” said Markit’s Rob Dobson. “Although cooling in July, growth rates for production and new orders remain well above their long-run trends, supporting continued solid job creation in the sector.”
Eurozone (51.8 in July, down from 51.9): “Output and orders are growing at lacklustre rates compared to earlier in the year, meaning firms remain reluctant to take on more staff,” said Markit’s Chris Williamson. “The weakness of demand in turn meant companies were generally unable to raise prices for their goods without fear of losing sales… The ECB will be eager to see the impact of the policy measures announced in June, though these are clearly going to take some time to filter through to the real economy.”
Germany (52.4 in July, down from 52.9): “Mixed signals about the health of Germany’s goods producing sector are sent by July’s manufacturing PMI results,” said Markit’s Oliver Kolodseike. “Although companies reported slightly sharper increases in production and new orders, there was little appetite to take on additional workers, signalling some uncertainty about future workloads and efforts to cut costs.”
France (47.8 in July, up from 52.6): “The French manufacturing sector sank further into contraction territory during July, posting its weakest performance since the turn of the year,” said Markit’s Jack Kennedy. “A deteriorating trend in new orders continued to weigh on the sector, with demand conditions reported to remain fragile. Associated competitive pressures maintained the squeeze on firms’ output prices, which fell further despite rising input costs.”
Italy (51.9 in July, down from 52.6): “The recovery in the manufacturing sector appears to have lost some steam as we head into the second half of the year,” said Markit’s Paul Smith. “Factory production levels rose again in July, but the pace of growth was well below that seen earlier in the year owing to signs of fragility in sales, particularly from the domestic market. Export orders remain a relative strong point, although even on this front growth has moderated.”
Spain (53.9 in July, down from 54.6): “Although growth of output and new orders eased from the sharp rates seen in June, the Spanish manufacturing sector’s recovery still progressed at a solid pace,” said Markit’s Andrew Harker. “Moreover, firms displayed a measure of confidence regarding the near-term outlook as they took on extra staff and increased stocks of purchases, ending a sequence of decline which lasted almost seven years.”
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