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PURCHASING MANAGERS INDEX FOR MANUFACTURING

PMI, UK, Euro-zone and global, November 2019:  October had seen a small improvement in the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the UK manufacturing sector, largely as a result of stock-building ahead of the Brexit deadline at the end of that month.  With that having passed, the under-lying conditions were unchanged and the subsequent de-stocking meant that the PMI reading fell back to 48.9 - this is now the seventh consecutive month of negative (below 50) figures.  Orders, output and employment all continue to fall and purchasing rates fell with stocks being reduced.

The Euro-zone is on a different path although, at 46.9, the overall PMI reading remains well into negative territory.  We need a few more “good news” months to confirm a trend but it does appear that the Euro-zone might be past the worst and the PMI for the German manufacturing sector was at its highest since June, although at 44.1 it is still the 2nd worst reading across the 25 countries and two regions that we track each month (behind only the Czech Republic).  For the time being, we are only seeing rates of decline slow rather than turn to actual recovery for the region as a whole and, in November, only Greece and France had a PMI reading above 50, while Italy saw its lowest figure for 8 months.

Elsewhere in Europe, there was a mix of trends, but only Hungary, which has been supported to some extent by new activity in the automotive sector, has a PMI reading above 50 and, along with Poland and Turkey, they saw an improvement in there PMI reading this month.  Against this, Russia and the Czech Republic saw a further worsening of their already negative situation, with more modest deteriorations being reported by Sweden and Switzerland.

The picture in Asia is more consistent with the manufacturing PMI increasing while, in most cases, remaining below 50;  the exceptions are Taiwan where the PMI reading was unchanged at 49.8, China where it only edged up to 51.8 and India which is the only other country to have a positive PMI.

The Americas region continues to provides have the best situation, with the exception of Mexico which saw the largest fall in the manufacturing PMI among those we track which took their reading back into negative territory.

The IHS Markit PMI reports for major economies around the world are available from their web-site at http://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/Page.mvc/PressReleases;  we have compiled a set of summary charts which is available to download below.

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