Markit manufacturing PMI falls to 6-year low

Markit Economics’ preliminary manufacturing purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for April came in at 50.8.

It was a lower-than-expected reading that marked the weakest improvement in business conditions since September 2009. It also squashes hopes that weakness in the first quarter was just temporary, according to Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.

“With prior months’ survey data pointing to annualized GDP growth of just 0.7% in the first quarter, the deteriorating performance of manufacturing suggests that growth could weaken closer towards stagnation in the second quarter,” Williamson said.

Economists had forecast a flash PMI of 52, according to Bloomberg, up from 51.5 in March.

Manufacturing employment gained at the weakest rate since June 2013. Production levels rose at the slowest pace in the survey’s six-and-a-half-year history. New-businesses growth was the most sluggish so far in 2016.

NOW WATCH: Consumer Reports put Costco and Sam’s Club head-to-head — here’s the verdict

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.