For the last two days, the major economies around the world have been releasing their March manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) numbers. These are surveys of thousands of purchasing managers, which help gauge whether manufacturing sectors are expanding or contracting.
From what we could tell, the Asian economies appeared to be accelerating, while the European economies were falling deeper into contraction. The U.S., which is the biggest manufacturer in the world, reported slightly decelerating growth.
JP Morgan just published its global composite manufacturing PMI number, which is a weighted average of all of the country-specific reports.
Good news: the global manufacturing PMI inched up to 51.2 from 50.9 in February.
“According to the global PMI, the manufacturing sector continued to expand in March,” said JP Morgan’s David Hensley. “Indexes of output and new orders rose slightly to levels consistent with moderate, stable growth in global production.”
Some more colour: “Higher output was underpinned by a further increase in new order inflows and work on existing contracts. International trade volumes also rose during the latest survey period. Although the pace of growth in new export orders was only marginal, it was an improvement on the declines recorded during the preceding 11 months.”