Over the last three days, countries around the world have been publishing their manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) reports.
And the message around the world is clear: manufacturing activity decelerated sharply in April.
The U.S. and China are growing marginally, but both decelerated. Europe continues to be in sharp contraction. And even Germany saw its manufacturing sector begin to contract in April.
According to JP Morgan, the global manufacturing PMI fell to 50.5 in April, down from 51.1 in March.
A reading above 50 signals expansion.
“The rate of expansion decelerated slightly during April, meaning that growth so far in 2013 has remained, at best, only marginal,” they wrote. “This is still an improvement compared to the contractions signalled throughout much of the second half of last year.”
“April saw manufacturing production increase at the slowest rate in the year-to-date, as growth of new order inflows also slipped to a near-stagnant pace. New export orders posted a marginal gain for the second month running in April.”
JP Morgan, Markit