America now boasts the strongest manufacturing sector in the world.
Earlier today, we learned the U.S. purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for manufacturing hit 57.9, the highest level since April 2010.
Any reading above 50 signals growth, while anything below signals contraction.
Export sales climbed at the fastest rate in three years, and manufacturing payrolls increased at the steepest pace since March 2013. The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. manufacturing index also hit a multi-year high this morning.
“The U.S. manufacturing sector has gone from strength to strength this summer, with August’s improvement in business conditions the sharpest for over four years,” Markit senior economist Tim Moore said.
“Impressive new business and output gains were matched by a solid rebound in employment growth. The latest survey points to the fastest upturn in payroll numbers for around a year-and-a-half, highlighting that the manufacturing sector continues to have a positive impact on overall labour market conditions.”
So who has the weakest manufacturing sector in the world? That would be France, whose purchasing manager’s index for manufacturing fell to 46.9, shrinking at the fastest rate in 15 months.
“Sharply falling output led firms to cut back employment, purchasing and stock levels further in August,” Markit’s Jack Kennedy said of the France PMI report.
“This sort of across-the-board weakness has been a common theme in recent months and there remains very little to suggest any turnaround in fortunes will be imminent.”
This puts it below even Greece, not to mention Australia, Denmark and Poland.
Nothing seems to be working out for France lately. French finance minister Michel Sapin just warned his country would miss its budget targets because of low inflation. “The inflation figures in the Euro zone have created a shock,” he said.
Here’s a chart comparing the August manufacturing PMIs from Markit and JPMorgan.