The Global Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for manufacturing, produced by S&P Global and sponsored by J P Morgan more than recovered the dip we saw in April (which looks like an effect from the timing of Easter) and at 50.9, it recorded its highest level since July 2022.  Both output and new orders saw an accelerated rate of expansion and employment also grew.  Although consumer goods continued to see the fastest rate of growth, the intermediate goods sector was at a 3-year high and output in the investment goods industry grew for the third time in 4 months – the latter sector (the most important for our sector) also saw an increase in new orders for the first time in 2 years.

The UK shared in this general trend with the manufacturing sector PMI increasing to 51.2;  this is its highest level since July 2022 and only the second positive month in that period.  Output expanded at the quickest rate since April 2022 and was positive in all three sub-sectors together for the first time in over two years.

New domestic orders also rose at the fastest rate since April 2022, but export orders were negative for the 28th consecutive month in the face of weak demand.  Employment also fell, in this case for the twentieth month in a row, but this often lags the general cycle;  suppliers’ delivery times lengthened as a result of transportation issues (this adds slightly to the positive trend in the overall PMI).

In the Euro-zone, there was also an improvement in the manufacturing PMI, although only Spain, Netherlands and Greece had readings above the crucial 50 threshold.  Italy was the main exception to the trend in this region in seeing a lower reading than in April.  Overall, output and orders are still falling but at a slower pace than in recent months but employment continued to fall at the modest pace recorded in the April survey.  Despite a significant improvement, Germany continues to have the weakest overall manufacturing PMI in the Euro-zone (this is fractionally below the Italian figure).

Among the other EU countries who have a PMI survey, the negative reading slipped again for Poland (45.0) but improved for Czechia (46.1);  Hungary (51.8) was unchanged compared to the April survey while Romania (52.0) and Sweden (54.0) saw their positive numbers improve compared to the April survey.

There is a mix of trends in the other European countries;  Kazakhstan (52.2) saw an improvement in its positive position and Switzerland also had a higher reading (46.4) but remained negative;  however, Turkiye (48.4) saw its manufacturing PMI slip again and is at its lowest since December 2023.

Most of the Asian countries that we cover in this report are now in positive territory – Australia at 49.7 is the exception here – and in most cases the readings were higher than in April, with India the exception in this case, although at 57.5, the manufacturing PMI is still very strong.  This month’s improvement in Japan and South Korea took them above the crucial 50 threshold for the first time since May 2023 and February 2024 respectively.

Three of the countries in the Americas have a manufacturing PMI above 50, although with different trends – Brazil (52.1) saw a significant reduction compared to April, Mexico (51.2) was at a similar level  and the USA (51.3) improved from a neutral reading.  Canada (49.3) and Columbia (49.8) continue to have a negative PMI.

Overall, of the 28 countries and 2 regions that we report on each month, 17 were above the 50 threshold that marks the division between contraction and expansion of activity in the manufacturing sector, with 2 more exactly on this mark.  The strongest reading continues to be in India (57.5) and the weakest this month was in Poland (45.0);  compared to April, the strongest improvement was in Switzerland (up by 5.0 points) while the largest reduction is in Brazil (-3.8 points).

The individual S&P Global PMI reports are available to download on their website at but we also have a summary charts report which is available to download below.  You should note that the PMI readings for Hungary, Sweden and Switzerland are not compiled by S&P Global but can be found with an appropriate internet search (it also means that they are not part of the global PMI calculation).  The manufacturing PMI is a weighted composite index of new orders (30%), output (25%), employment (20%), suppliers’ delivery times (15%) and stocks of purchases (10%).

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