Manufacturing growth throughout the world increased at a solid, if unspectacular pace in July, the preliminary releases of the Markit PMIs show. The chart shows manufacturing PMIs across many of the more important countries in the world, the rightmost column, July 2014, is the preliminary data released July 24.
The US Markit PMI (top line in the chart) fell slightly. The relationship between this reading and the more familiar ISM PMI is uncertain, and it is best to think of these numbers as two different noisy readings of the same phenomena. At Astor, our assessment is that the US economy continues to expand
The rate of growth increased in China to a new high over the rolling 12 months. There is still concern about the outlook for Chinese growth this year.
The French PMI has fallen four months in a row to concerning levels, the lowest in Europe according to this selection of countries.
The highlights of the July data:
A few points about broader trends:
There may be some weakness showing up in Eastern Europe. It is not clear if this is directly to do with the tensions in the Ukraine this year, but the data we have is all for June, not reflecting the recent deterioration. For a more positive take on European growth see this Bloomberg report.
South Korea has been slowing a bit too, as the government recognized with a stimulus package
In conclusion, no major changes to our assessment though the Investment Committee continues to keep a concerned eye on the details of growth in Europe.