PMI DAY: European manufacturing is in the toilet

It’s manufacturing PMI day in Europe, meaning we’re finding out just how the continent’s manufacturers did in February.

The results are starting to come in, and so far it’s not good news.

Italy was the first to report its numbers, with economists expecting a figure of 52.5, down from 53.2 in January.

The country reported a big miss, hitting just 52.2, slumping to a 12 month low, with output and new order growth waning.

The purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from Markit are given as a number between 0 and 100.

Anything above 50 signals growth, while anything below means a contraction in activity — so the higher the better.

Manufacturing figures for February follow a set of disappointing results seen in February’s Flash PMIs, released last week. Eurozone manufacturing saw a big miss, hitting just 51, versus estimate of 52.0 and compared to 52.3 in January.

Overall, February’s flash PMIs were a total bust, with the eurozone posting a big miss for growth. Composite PMI (a measure of the combined manufacturing and services sectors) came in at 52.7 against a forecast of 53.3.

Earlier on Tuesday, China’s monthly PMI data showed that the country’s manufacturing industry shrunk at the fastest level since 2011, dropping to just 49.0, down from 49.4 in January.

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