Trade forecast based on December’s PMI Index.

2 Jan

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the last month of 2013 demonstrated a strong showing from the other side of the Atlantic: the US PMI climbed to 54.0, up from 52.8 in November. This is America’s strongest rate of growth since May. It seems that doubts about the newly announced Republican-Democratic fiscal compromise did not check demand for US manufactures.

And despite George Osborne’s doom-laden financial forecast, the UK brought home a PMI of 51.4, a fifteen-month high. This modest recovery was stimulated by increased consumer demand, and higher levels of output. Although output of investment goods was down, there was a net increase due to production of consumer and intermediate goods (though the index for consumer goods had started to enter negative growth).

Also in the UK, the total volume of new work received increased for the second month running, though the level of new export orders declined again. The story was less positive for the Eurozone where both had fallen across the region.

The Eurozone ended December with a PMI of 46.1. Germany was flagging with a two-month low of 46; France continued to claw its way back into the market, with a 4-month high of 44.6. This was, coincidentally, the same as Spain, for which the figure in fact represented a decline.

Markit Economics’ monthly surveys take a sample of carefully selected companies, and assess a range of factors including output, new orders, stock levels, employment and prices. This enables consultants to produce a barometer of regional market conditions across the manufacturing, construction, retail and service sectors.Image

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