A gauge tracking manufacturing activity is flashing red in countries across the world. The Institute of Supply Management’s Producer Manufacturing Index (PMI) for the US contracted for a second consecutive month in December, falling to 48.4 last month to 49.0 in November.
China’s official PMI tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics also fell sharply, hitting 47.0 from 48.0 in November. Singapore is down, too: 49.7 versus 49.8 the previous month. And Japan saw its factory activity post the sharpest drop in over two years.
Less gloomy, but far from reassuring, is the picture from Europe. The S&P Global PMI for France recorded 49.2 last month—below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction, though an improvement from November’s 48.3. Germany’s S&P Global PMI reading is also solidly in contraction territory: 47.1, but an uptick from November’s 46.2.
PMI measures the activity level of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector. Readings above 50 indicate expansion in the sector; below 50 indicate contraction.
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