Markit
 
Markit PMI™ Surveys and Economic Data 2014
Please find below commentaries from Markit economists.
August
Eurozone manufacturing recovery continues at start of third quarter, despite deeper downturn in France
01 August 2014
July saw the final Eurozone Manufacturing PMI hold steady at June’s seven-month low of 51.8, as the ongoing expansions in Germany and outside of the big-two economies were partly offset by a deeper downturn at French manufacturers.
 
China Manufacturing PMI strengthens to 18-month high in July
01 August 2014
Latest data signalled a second successive monthly improvement in overall operating conditions faced by Chinese manufacturers in July. Output and total new orders both rose at the strongest rates since March 2013, while new export work increased at the second-fastest pace in over three-and-a-half years. In response to stronger inflows of new work, purchasing activity rose solidly while job shedding eased for the second successive month and was only slight. Meanwhile, input price inflation accelerated to the strongest since last November.
 
UK manufacturing enjoys strong start to third quarter though growth rate cools
01 August 2014
The UK manufacturing sector started the third quarter on a firm footing, according to the latest PMI survey published by Markit and CIPS. The headline PMI posted 55.4 in July, its lowest reading for a year but still well above its long-run average of 51.5.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [4-8 Aug]: European monetary policy and worldwide services PMI results
01 August 2014
Policy decision at the Bank of England and European Central Bank plus worldwide whole economy and service sector PMI releases are the highlights of a busy week for economy watchers.
 
Further strong US job gains in July but labour market data shows signs of cooling
01 August 2014
US job creation remained robust in July as the strong economic upturn seen in the second quarter looks to have spilled over into the third quarter. However, with companies reporting growing uncertainties to the business outlook, it’s perhaps not surprising that the rate of job creation is showing sign of cooling and could continue to moderate in coming months.
 
Global manufacturing sees robust start to third quarter amid strong US and UK expansions and signs of faster growth in Asia
01 August 2014
The global manufacturing economy continued to grow at a steady though unspectacular pace at the start of the third quarter. The US and UK again provided the main thrusts to global growth, albeit with rates of expansion moderating in both cases. Manufacturing meanwhile remained disappointingly subdued in the eurozone and in Asia, although signs of stronger growth have appeared in Asia ex-Japan.
 
July
Second quarter US GDP rebound adds to survey signals of vibrant economy
30 July 2014
The US economy rebounded strongly in the second quarter, and further impressive growth looks likely for the third quarter. However, it looks like the pace of expansion should start to moderate after the impressive growth spurt seen in the spring, meaning policymakers will be relaxed about the timing of the next rise in interest rates.
 
UK economy passes pre-crisis peak
25 July 2014
A milestone in the UK recovery has been reached after a further strong performance in the second quarter brings the size of the economy above its pre-crisis peak. Any celebrations will of course also be marred by the fact that the milestone reminds us that it has taken some six years for the country to merely regain the economic might it had before the financial crisis struck.
 
Robust start to third quarter as flash PMI hits one-and-a-half year high in China
24 July 2014
Growth of China’s manufacturing economy accelerated to the fastest for a year and a half in July, according to the first PMI-based snapshot of business conditions. An upturn in export growth signalled by the survey also suggests that global economic growth is reviving as we move into the second half of 2014, providing a welcome accompaniment to signs of an ongoing improvement in domestic demand within China.
 
Eurozone manufacturing expansion continues at start of third quarter
24 July 2014
The Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI™ – typically based on around 85%-90% of final survey responses – ticked higher to 51.9 in July, up from June’s seven-month low of 51.8. The headline PMI has signalled an improvement in operating conditions for 13 straight months.
 
Japan flash manufacturing PMI points to subdued growth since sales tax rise
24 July 2014
Japan’s economy looks set to avoid a downturn following April’s sales tax rise, but the pace of growth remains well below that seen at the start of the year, suggesting the upturn is fragile and vulnerable to renewed weakness.
 
UK retailers enjoy best calendar quarter of sales growth for ten years
24 July 2014
UK retailers are enjoying their spell for a decade in terms of sales growth, despite seeing disappointing performances in May and June.
 
US manufacturing growth holds close to four-year peak
24 July 2014
At 56.3 in July, down from 57.3 in June, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) signalled the slowest improvement in overall manufacturing business conditions for three months. PMI readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions, while readings below 50.0 signal deterioration.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [28th Jul - 1st Aug]: Q2 US GDP, non-farm payrolls and FOMC meeting
24 July 2014
Worldwide PMI™ reports are accompanied by second quarter US GDP, US non-farm payrolls and the Fed interest rate decision, plus unemployment and inflation numbers for the Eurozone.
 
Bank of England policymakers mull over timing of first rate hike amid wage growth uncertainty
23 July 2014
Policymakers at the Bank of England’s latest Monetary Policy Committee meeting continued to stress that interest rates are likely to only go up very gradually when they do start to rise, but the debate over the timing of the first hike appears to have intensified.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [21-25 Jul]: UK GDP and worldwide Flash PMI™ releases
17 July 2014
Thursday’s Flash PMI™ data from Markit will provide first insights into the health of the world’s largest economies at the start of the third quarter. Other standouts are the first estimate of second quarter GDP for the UK and inflation plus durable goods orders data in the US.
 
UK Unemployment falls and employment surges, but pay growth hits record low
16 July 2014
The labour market puzzle continues, with official data indicating that employee pay is at an all-time low despite record job creation, plunging unemployment and survey evidence of increasingly widespread skill shortages.
 
UK Household finances deteriorate at sharpest rate for six months
16 July 2014
Falling to 42.1 in July, from 42.6 in June, the seasonally adjusted Markit Household Finance Index (HFI) – which measures overall perceptions of financial wellbeing – registered its lowest reading for six months. That said, it remained higher than at any time prior to this, signalling that the squeeze on finances remains milder than in the five years since the survey started in February 2009.
 
UK Households pull back on their expectations of first interest rate hike
16 July 2014
Survey data collected from 1,500 households by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Markit found that half of all households that expressed a view expect interest rates to start rising within the next six months. In total, some 79% expect to see the first rate hike to take place within the next 12 months. However, this represents an easing in rate hike expectations compared to June, when 60% anticipated rates to start rising within the next six months and 85% within a year.
 
UK job vacancy data and surveys cast doubt on weakness of current wage growth
16 July 2014
Employee pay growth fell to a record low in May, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. The wages data look odd, because the official data also showed record employment growth over the past year, a further marked drop in employment and rising numbers of job vacancies at employers. Usually, wage growth picks up when the labour market tightens.
 
UK inflation moves closer to Bank of England target in June, house prices surge
15 July 2014
UK inflation moved sharply higher in June alongside another surge in house prices. The news will further fuel expectations that the Bank of England will start rising interest rates sooner rather than later, with November looking most likely for the first hike.
 
Eurozone industrial production falls in May and business optimism wanes
14 July 2014
Eurozone industrial production fell sharply in May. Although the decline is likely to have been temporary, the disappointing numbers add to evidence that economic growth in the region is slowing. Business optimism and hiring intentions have cooled from the three year highs seen earlier in the year, led by darkening clouds forming over the French economic horizon in particular.
 
Worldwide business confidence wanes
14 July 2014
Worldwide business optimism has waned compared to the two-year high seen earlier in 2014, according to the latest Markit Global Business Outlook Survey. Expectations about future business activity growth fell slightly, with future hiring and investment intentions deteriorating especially markedly.
 
UK construction sector suffers temporary set back in May as output falls
11 July 2014
The construction industry moved into reverse in May, according to official data. The weakness of these data alongside disappointing manufacturing output data for May suggests that policymakers will be encouraged to err on the side of caution about hiking interest rates too early in what looks to be a still-fragile recovery.
 
UK trade deficit widens in May as modest export growth offset by rising imports
10 July 2014
A modest rise in exports in May was offset by a stronger increase in imports, causing the deficit to widen and suggesting that UK trade acted as a drag on the economy during the second quarter.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview
10 July 2014
The week sees as vast amount of economic news, including updates on inflation and the labour market in the UK and industrial production numbers and consumer price data for the euro area. Meanwhile, data releases in the US include retail sales, industrial production figures and inflation.
 
Record rise in starting salaries for UK employees as skill shortages worsen
08 July 2014
Starting salaries for permanent staff and temporary worker pay rates surged higher in June, according to recruitment industry survey data. Starting salaries rose at the fastest rate since the late-1990s and temp pay growth hit a near seven-year high as skill shortages worsened amid surging demand for staff.
 
The UK manufacturing output slump contrasts with upbeat business surveys
08 July 2014
Britain’s factories saw a surprise drop in output in May, which will add to arguments that the recovery remains too fragile for policymakers to be considering any tightening of policy. However, the weakness sits in stark contrast to buoyant business surveys, which show the sector to be in rude health.
 
Global real estate activity surges in June
07 July 2014
Global Sector PMI data from Markit showed that real estate activity increased markedly in June. The sector rose to the top of the global rankings, just ahead of healthcare services, and also recorded a bigger month-on-month increase in its Business Activity Index than any other sector. Moreover, the rate of expansion signalled was the fastest since global sector data were first compiled in October 2009.
 
Emerging markets gain momentum in June
07 July 2014
The HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI surveys, indicated stronger output growth across global emerging markets in June. The EMI posted 52.3, up from 50.6 in May, signalling the sharpest rate of expansion since March 2013. That said, it remained below its long-run average of 53.8.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [7-11 Jul]: Monetary policy updates, European industry output and Chinese trade data
04 July 2014
The Bank of England’s monetary policy decision, FOMC meeting minutes and a host of industrial production data across Europe are highlights of the week for the developed world, while in the emerging markets a relatively quiet week sees trade and inflation data for China plus industrial production in India.
 
Surveys show job creation in the UK is at a record high as economy continues to boom
03 July 2014
Yet another strong service sector PMI number indicates the UK economy continued to boom at the end of the second quarter. Alongside similar surveys showing an ongoing surge in construction and the largest quarterly rise in manufacturing output for 20 years, the services PMI confirms that the UK economy is firing on all cylinders.
 
Strong labour market data from the US add to signs of economy enjoying growth spurt
03 July 2014
Improving official labour market data add to indications that the US economy is enjoying a strong growth spurt in the second quarter. The improvement in the data flow in June suggests that the economy has good momentum as we move into the second half of the year.
 
PMI signals fastest global economic growth for three years
03 July 2014
The global economy ended the second quarter on a high note. Growth rates for output and new orders accelerated to the fastest since February 2011, according to PMI™ survey data . The upturn also broadened out, with growth spurts in the US and the UK being accompanied by signs that Asia is lifting from its recent soft patch.
 
The UK construction sector hiring hits all-time high as building booms in June
02 July 2014
The construction industry took on a record number of staff in June as activity in the sector continued to boom, according to PMI™ data. However, subcontractor pay rates have also risen at a survey-record pace in recent months as skill shortages reached all-time highs.
 
US and UK lead worldwide manufacturing growth higher in June
01 July 2014
The global manufacturing economy grew at the fastest rate for four months in June, with the rate of expansion closing in on the near-three-year high seen in February. However, growth was once again concentrated in the developed world, while factory output in the emerging markets largely stagnated.
 
June
Economic recovery in the UK buoyed by surge in business investment
27 June 2014
A lack of any upward revision to economic growth in the first quarter increases the chances of the first hike in interest rates being pushed back until next year. However, policymakers will be cheered by news that the upturn is being supported by rising business investment, which makes for a more sustainable economic recovery.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [30 Jun - 4 Jul]: Worldwide manufacturing and services PMI™ releases
26 June 2014
The week sees the manufacturing and services PMI reports released worldwide amid the latest rate decision from the European Central Bank. Labour market data are meanwhile out for the euro area and the US, while Japan sees the release of industrial production numbers.
 
The US PMI surveys signal surge in growth to post-crisis high in June
25 June 2014
Markit’s PMI data showed US business activity, new orders and employment surging higher in June, all growing at the fastest rates seen since the recession. The survey data add to evidence that the economy rebounded strongly in the second quarter after a larger than previously thought contraction of GDP in the first quarter.
 
PMI signals return to growth of Chinese manufacturing economy
23 June 2014
Worries that China’s economy is facing a so-called ‘hard-landing’ will be alleviated as the manufacturing sector returned to growth in June.
 
Eurozone growth slows to six-month low despite strengthening 'periphery'
23 June 2014
Eurozone economic growth slowed for a second month running in June, easing to the weakest since December, according to the flash reading of the Markit Eurozone PMI. Growth remained robust in Germany despite weakening slightly, and France‟s downturn deepened. Elsewhere across the region, however, growth was the strongest since August 2007.
 
PMI heralds return to growth of Japanese manufacturing as sales tax impact wanes
23 June 2014
Japan’s economy is showing signs of bouncing back after being hit by the April 1st sales tax rise. The flash Markit/JMMA manufacturing PMI rose back above the 50 ‘no change’ level in June for the first time since March.
 
The US manufacturing PMI points to strongest improvement in overall business conditions since May 2010
23 June 2014
June data pointed to a robust and accelerated improvement in the performance of the U.S. manufacturing sector. At 57.5 in June, up from 56.4, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) indicated the strongest upturn in overall business conditions since May 2010. The latest rise in the headline PMI was driven by the fastest output and new orders growth for just over four years.
 
‘Flash’ PMI surveys show Eurozone woes, Asia rebounds and US factory growth hits four-year high
23 June 2014
Markit’s flash PMI™ data for June pointed to resurgent expansion in Asia alongside signs of a strengthening recovery in the US. Growth disappointed in the eurozone, due largely to a gathering downturn in France. But the region’s recovery continued with the ‘periphery’ even outpacing both Germany and France for the first time since 2006.
 
UK retailers enjoy best start to a year for a decade
19 June 2014
Despite falling in May after an Easter-holiday related surge in April, retail sales are growing at an impressive pace so far this year. With sales up some 4.3% on last year during the first five months of 2014, retailers enjoying the best start to a year for a decade.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [23-27 Jun]: Flash PMI and US, UK GDP updates
19 June 2014
Monday’s Flash PMI data from Markit will provide the first insights into the health of the world’s largest economies in June. Other standouts are updates on first quarter GDP for the UK and the US, with the latter also seeing the release of durable goods orders.
 
UK policymakers hint at 2014 rate hike amid uncertainty over economic slack
18 June 2014
The Minutes from the latest Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee Meeting add to the expectation that rates will start to rise later this year, providing the economy maintains its current momentum as we move through the summer months.
 
UK inflation drops to 4½ year low, but rising house prices confuse the policy picture
17 June 2014
UK policymakers were confronted with more mixed news on the economy, as inflation fell to a four-and-a-half year low in May, but the official measure of house prices rose at an annual rate of 9.9% in April, regsietring the largest yearly increase since June 2010.
 
Construction sector booms, Bank of England raises prospect of 2014 rate hike
13 June 2014
A booming construction industry, faster-than-previously-thought economic growth at the start of the year and hawkish remarks from the Bank of England’s Governor Mark Carney point to interest rates starting to rise later this year.
 
Global tourism & recreation sector posts solid activity growth in May
13 June 2014
The latest Markit Global Sector PMI™ data indicated a solid rise in activity in the tourism & recreation sector. Tourism & recreation also drove overall growth in the wider consumer services sector, posting a stronger rise in activity than its sister sector, media, for the fifth month running.
 
Eurozone industry grows twice as fast as expected in April
12 June 2014
The euro area recovery gathered significant momentum in April, with a much stronger than expected rise in industrial production adding to signs that economic growth picked up at the start of the second quarter.
 
US Retailers on course for best calendar quarter for over three years
12 June 2014
Retailers are on course for their best calendar quarter in terms of sales for over three years, providing further evidence that the US economy is warming up from the cold spell earlier in the year.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [16-20 Jun]: Industrial production and FOMC decision in US
12 June 2014
The week sees a vast amount of economic news, including industrial production and inflation data for the US, UK inflation and retail sales numbers and eurozone inflation. The FOMC also announces its latest monetary policy decision and the BoE releases minutes from its most recent MPC meeting.
 
UK unemployment plunges on back of record increase in employment
11 June 2014
Unemployment continues to fall faster than expected amid yet another bout of record hiring, bringing the jobless total to its lowest since early 2009. Weak pay growth and the ‘cost of living crisis’ remain the Achilles Heel of the economic recovery, but it should not be long until we see earnings growth accelerate as the labour market continues to tighten.
 
Truck weight restrictions disrupt manufacturing supply chains in Vietnam
11 June 2014
In the past few months the Vietnamese authorities have stepped up their enforcement of weight limits on trucks. HSBC PMI data, compiled by Markit, shows that this has led to strong rises in costs at manufacturing firms, as well as delivery delays. Ironically, this has had the effect of raising the PMI.
 
Record outperformance of developed world over emerging markets
10 June 2014
The global economy grew in May at the fastest rate since last September. The JPMorgan Global PMI™, compiled by Markit, rose from 52.8 in April to 54.3, the joint-highest reading in just over three years. Growth divergences between the developed and emerging markets widened, however, to the greatest extent seen since comparable data were first available in 2005.
 
UK manufacturing recovery gains further momentum
10 June 2014
Britain’s factories are booming, enjoying their best spell of growth for four years, according to the latest official data. The data not only indicate that the recovery has gained strong momentum, but also that the economy is rebalancing, though there is still a long way to go before manufacturing reaches its pre-recession size.
 
Global metals & mining output growth remains subdued
09 June 2014
May saw output growth in the metals & mining sector ease to a only a modest pace, and one that was much slower than the global manufacturing average, according to the latest Markit Global Sector PMI™ data.
 
Food producers climb to top of global sector rankings in May
06 June 2014
Global Sector PMI data from Markit showed that food manufacturing topped the rankings in May. In contrast, beverages was the only sector to post falling activity. Healthcare-related sectors continued to perform comparatively well, while the constituents of the basic materials group remained stuck in a low gear.
 
UK pay growth reviving as skill shortages rise at fastest rate since 1997
06 June 2014
Surging demand for staff and near-record skill shortages meant pay rates offered by UK companies to attract suitable workers continued to rise at a rapid pace in May. The data add to signs that the UK’s economic recovery is increasingly filtering through to improved wage growth, flashing inflationary warning lights at the Bank of England. Wage growth is likely to be a key determinant of when interest rates are likely to start rising.
 
Global food output growth at post-crisis high in May
06 June 2014
The latest Markit Global Sector PMI data indicated that output in the global food industry rose sharply in May, and at a faster rate than all other sectors monitored by the survey. In contrast, beverages output fell during the month, with the sector ranked bottom globally.
 
U.S. employment surpasses pre-recession peak, but Fed awaits pay rise
06 June 2014
The labour market was a little stronger than anticipated in May, according to official data, bringing yet more good news on the brightening health of the US economy. However, with wage growth remaining subdued, the data do little to change the dovish outlook for interest rates.
 
UK trade deficit widens but buoyant surveys cast doubt on slump in official exports
06 June 2014
A further marked deterioration in UK export performance, according to official trade data, sits in marked contrast to buoyant survey data. While the surveys indicate that firms are having great success in winning export sales, which should help boost GDP in the second quarter, the official data suggest that exports are slumping, down 6% on a year ago so far in 2014.
 
Bank of England policymakers hold off on rate rises again
05 June 2014
No surprises as the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee left interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.5% at its June meeting. The stock of asset purchases made under its Quantitative Easing programme was also left unchanged at £375bn.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [9-13 Jun]: UK jobless rate set to fall further
05 June 2014
Next week sees a busy economic calendar. In the UK labour markets data are the highlight, providing important clues into the timing of the first rate hike. Meanwhile, official data updates will be scoured for evidence that the US, Chinese and Eurozone economies are reviving after disappointing first quarter growth.
 
ECB takes out a policy ‘shotgun’ to kill deflation
05 June 2014
While the Bank of England pulled no surprises at its monthly policy meeting, the European Central Bank went further than expected in terms of policy action. The ECB’s Governing Council unanimously agreed to announce what ECB President Mario Draghi described as a “significant” package of five measures to help lift growth in the single currency area and ward off the threat of deflation.
 
UK job creation sustained at all-time high as economy continues to surge
04 June 2014
Strong PMI surveys for May add further to signs of another strong expansion of the UK economy in the second quarter, with the latest growth spurt again accompanied by record job creation.
 
Sales tax hike causes Japan’s economy to contract for second month running
04 June 2014
Business activity in Japan contracted for a second month running in May, according to Markit PMI survey data. However, the drop in activity was only marginal and significantly less marked than seen in April. In a sign that the downturn may be only temporary, the decline was again attributed by many firms to the downturn in demand following April’s sales tax rise. Firms also continued to take on more staff in the expectation of business rebounding in coming months after the initial impact of the tax hike passes.
 
Slower decline in Japanese manufacturing output in May
02 June 2014
Japanese manufacturing firms saw a decline in output for the second month running in May alongside a continued fall in new orders and new export orders. That said, rates of decline for both new orders and output eased from those seen in April. Employment numbers grew in May for the tenth month running, albeit at a slower pace.
 
Sharpest rise in U.S. production levels since February 2011
02 June 2014
May data signalled that output growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector continued to accelerate through the second quarter of 2014, supported by another sharp improvement in new business volumes. Greater production requirements and efforts to rebuild stocks of purchases meanwhile contributed to a survey-record increase in input buying during the latest survey period.
 
UK manufacturing upsurge continues
02 June 2014
May saw the UK manufacturing sector maintain one of its brightest spells of output and new order growth in the 22-year survey history. As manufacturers ramped up production to meet strong inflows of new work from both domestic and export markets, the benefits were also shared with the wider economy through solid job creation and rising levels of input purchasing.
 
Eurozone manufacturing recovery slows
02 June 2014
The recovery in the eurozone manufacturing sector registered a modest slowdown in May. At 52.2, down from 53.4 in April, the final seasonally adjusted Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI posted its lowest reading in six months and came in below the earlier flash estimate (52.5), but remained at a level consistent with a solid improvement in operating conditions.
 
May
Cost of living, energy bills & interest rates top UK household financial concerns
30 May 2014
Rising prices, and notably energy bills, are the biggest concern among British households when asked about their future finances, followed by worries about rising interest rates.
 
Nearly one-in-four UK households expect interest rates to start rising within the next six months
30 May 2014
British households have brought forward their expectations of when they consider it most likely the Bank of England will start to raise interest rates.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [2-6 Jun]: Worldwide manufacturing and services PMI™ releases
29 May 2014
The week sees the manufacturing, services and whole economy PMI reports released worldwide amid policy announcements from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, while labour market data are the highlight in the US.
 
US economy set for rebound after contracting for first time in three years
29 May 2014
The US recovery took a backward step in the first quarter, most likely the result of many parts of the country having been battered by extreme weather at the start of the year. Current indicators also suggest this was merely a temporary set-back in an otherwise ongoing robust recovery, pointing to a strong rebound in the second quarter.
 
US services output growth accelerates to 26-month high in May
27 May 2014
Adjusted for seasonal influences, the Markit Flash US Services PMI™ Business Activity Index picked up to 58.4 in May, from 55.0 in April. Higher levels of business activity were supported by the fastest rise in new work for over three years. This in turn contributed to a renewed accumulation of outstanding business, as well as higher employment numbers across the service sector in May.
 
PMI edges lower in May but eurozone remains on course for best quarter for three years
22 May 2014
The eurozone is enjoying its best calendar quarter for three years, according to the Markit Eurozone PMI. Despite the ‘flash’ PMI estimate for May falling from 54.0 in April to 53.9, the latest reading was the second-strongest seen over the past three years and leaves the average for the second quarter so far at the highest since the second quarter of 2011.
 
Chinese PMI signals export-led stabilisation of manufacturing economy
22 May 2014
Business conditions in China’s manufacturing economy deteriorated for a fifth successive month in May, according to the flash PMI produced by Markit for HSBC. However, the rate of deterioration was only marginal and the weakest recorded so far this year.
 
US manufacturing output rises at fastest pace in over three years
22 May 2014
Operating conditions in the US manufacturing sector continued to improve during May, with strong rises in production and output complemented by further payroll growth.
 
Japanese output and new orders continue to fall, but at slower pace
22 May 2014
Today sees the first public release of the Markit/JMMA Flash Japan Manufacturing PMI. Published on a monthly basis approximately one week before final PMI data are released, this makes the PMI the earliest available indicator of manufacturing sector operating conditions in Japan. The estimate is typically based on approximately 85%–90% of total PMI survey responses each month and is designed to provide an accurate indication of final PMI data.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [26-30 May]: US GDP update and European inflation figures
22 May 2014
In a week that sees the release of Markit’s US flash services PMI, we also see an update on first quarter GDP for the world’s largest economy. Labour market data and retail sales are meanwhile out in Germany and economic sentiment data and inflation numbers are released in some European countries.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [19-23 May]: Flash PMI™ data for the US, China and the Eurozone
16 May 2014
Thursday’s Flash PMI™ data from Markit will provide early insights into the economic performance of the world’s largest economies in May. Other standouts in a relatively quiet week of data releases are first quarter GDP updates for Germany and the UK, with the latter also seeing inflation numbers.
 
Italy: First quarter GDP disappoints, but PMI shows brighter start to second quarter
16 May 2014
The Italian economy disappointingly slid back into contraction at the start of the year. However, positive PMI data in April and signs of a turnaround in consumer spending point to a quick return to growth in the second quarter.
 
Eurozone stuck in low gear as economy grows by just 0.2% in first quarter
15 May 2014
The Eurozone economy expanded 0.2% in the first three months of the year, below expectations of a 0.4% increase. Growth of GDP in the first quarter was identical to that seen in the final quarter of last year, which was revised down from 0.3%. Although the economy has now grown for four consecutive quarters, the pace has failed to accelerate to anything other than lacklustre over this period.
 
China's economy in worst growth patch since early-2009
14 May 2014
Markit’s PMI survey data signal a further slowdown in the manufacturing sector while the services economy stagnates. A deteriorating order book trend and darkening outlook is meanwhile causing companies to retrench in terms of investment and hiring. This soft patch is naturally feeding through to a weakening of price pressures.
 
UK unemployment hits five-year low alongside record rise in employment
14 May 2014
Unemployment in the UK has fallen to its lowest for over five years and employment is rising at the fastest rate ever seen. However, ongoing weak pay growth suggests policymakers will be relaxed about keeping interest rates on hold until at least the first quarter of next year, allowing the economy to continue to boom.
 
Bank of England still sees little need for rate hikes before spring 2015
14 May 2014
There were no big surprises in the Bank of England’s updated outlook for the UK economy. The Bank’s latest quarterly Inflation Report suggested that interest rates will not rise until the spring of 2015. Bank Governor Mark Carney noted that the economy was ‘moving closer’ to a rate increase, suggesting a rise in the first quarter may be on the cards instead of the second quarter.
 
One-in-three UK workers feel under-utilised by their employers
12 May 2014
A survey of almost 1,000 households reveals a desire to work more hours. Nearly one-in-six employees would prefer to do more paid hours than they currently do each week. Among those occupied in full-time work, this falls to 9%, but rises to 40% for part-time staff working 8-29 hours per week.
 
Global healthcare services activity rises sharply in April
12 May 2014
April global sector PMI data from Markit showed a sharp and accelerated increase in healthcare services business activity. Growth was the strongest since September 2012 and the most marked among all 23 sectors covered by the global series.
 
UK employee pay growth rises as surging demand for staff meets skill shortages
09 May 2014
Recruitment industry survey data show skill shortages and employee pay both growing at some of the fastest rates seen since data were first collected in 1998. Surging demand for permanent staff from employers means the recovery is spilling over to benefit employees and households via higher employment and higher pay. However, the potential for wages to feed through to higher inflation may put further pressure on policymakers to raise interest rates earlier than the current expectation of early 2015.
 
UK manufacturers enjoy second-best calendar quarter for 15 years
09 May 2014
The UK manufacturing sector enjoyed its second-best calendar quarter of growth for fifteen years at the start of the year, with production up 1.4% on the closing quarter of 2013. Construction meanwhile also grew twice as fast as previously thought in the first quarter, up 0.6%. Marring the picture was a marked fall in exports in the first quarter, though we take the recent trade data with a pinch of salt.
 
Emerging market output growth remains weak
08 May 2014
The HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI surveys, continued to indicate only a marginal increase in output across global emerging markets in April. The EMI posted 50.4, from 50.3 in March, well below its eight-and-a-half year long-run trend level of 53.9.
 
Healthcare services leads global sector growth rankings in April
08 May 2014
The latest batch of detailed Global Sector PMI data from Markit showed that providers of private healthcare registered the strongest activity growth of all 23 sectors in April. Software, commercial and professional services firms also registered solid rates of expansion during the month, while banks were also notable in posting the fastest activity growth in over two years.
 
Global growth stymied by stagnation in emerging markets and Japan’s tax hike
08 May 2014
The global economy continued to expand in April, but the rate of growth was the slowest since last October, when the US was hit by the government shutdown.
 
Bank of England holds policy despite signs of booming economy
08 May 2014
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee left interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.5% at its May meeting, as widely expected. The stock of asset purchases made under its Quantitative Easing programme was also left unchanged at £375bn.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [12-16 May]: GDP estimates for eurozone and Japan
08 May 2014
Next week sees a busy economic calendar, including first quarter GDP estimates for the Eurozone and Japan. The single currency area and the US see updates on industrial production data and inflation numbers. However, it’s the UK, which sees labour market data and the Bank of England’s Inflation Report, which will steal the show.
 
ECB’s ‘forward guidance’ shifts to hint at action in June
08 May 2014
The European Central Bank’s Governing Council left policy unchanged at its May meeting, but hinted strongly that action of some form would be taken at its June meeting to help prevent low inflation becoming more entrenched if revised staff projections suggest action is warranted.
 
German economy starts second quarter on solid footing
07 May 2014
April’s PMI surveys signal a strong start into the second quarter, with the rate of activity growth in Germany’s private sector economy accelerating since March. Companies continued to take on additional workers in order to meet increased demand and inflationary pressures eased further.
 
Sales tax pushes Japanese activity lower in April
07 May 2014
Japanese service companies reported a fall in business activity in April, with the solid pace of reduction the sharpest since September 2011. Following a similar trend, new business declined for the first time in nine months. In both cases, firms linked the reductions to the rise in the sales tax.
 
Eurozone retail PMI hits three-year high
07 May 2014
April saw a rise in the level of retail sales in the euro area, according to the latest PMI data from Markit. Although only modest, growth in sales was the fastest in three years and underpinned by gains in both Germany and France. Italy meanwhile posted only a marginal reduction in trade on the month, the rate of decline in the eurozone’s third-largest economy having eased markedly since March.
 
UK PMI surveys signal faster economic growth and record job creation at start of second quarter
06 May 2014
The April UK PMI surveys signalled a strong start to the second quarter, signalling an acceleration in the rate of economic growth to the fastest since last November and one of the highest rates of growth seen in the survey history. With the outlook brightening, the pace of job creation hit a record high.
 
Inflationary pressures ease in ‘Fragile 5’ emerging economies
06 May 2014
Each of the ‘Fragile 5’ economies of South Africa, Turkey, India, Brazil and Indonesia posted a weaker rise in manufacturing input costs in April than the average for the first three months of the year.
 
Signs of life in Spanish economy after strong start to second quarter
06 May 2014
The pace of growth of the Spanish economy is set to accelerate in the second quarter. After official data signalled a 0.4% quarterly increase in Spanish GDP in the first quarter of 2014, PMI data signalled a further upturn in the rate of expansion during April. Moreover, stronger rises in new and outstanding business were recorded and employment increased for the first time in three months, adding to a sense of optimism that the Spanish economy is finally on the mend.
 
Eurozone economic growth at three-year high, as output expands across the big-four nations
06 May 2014
The recovery in the eurozone economy gathered pace at the start of the second quarter, with the combined output of the manufacturing and service sectors rising at the fastest pace for almost three years in April. The outlook for the upturn was also positive, with new orders and backlogs of work rising further and a return to growth for employment.
 
Robust U.S. services activity growth continues in April, but job creation slips to 13-month low
05 May 2014
U.S. service providers indicated a further rise in business activity during April, helped by a solid rebound in new order growth. However, job creation remained only marginal and the latest increase in payroll numbers was the slowest since March 2013. Input cost inflation accelerated in April, which in turn contributed to the fastest rise in output charges since the survey began in October 2009.
 
US non-farm payrolls smash expectations in April, but recovery worries persist
02 May 2014
After GDP data showed a stalling US economic recovery in the first quarter, upbeat labour market numbers bring reassuring news on the health of the US economic recovery at the start of the second quarter. The jobs data vindicate the Fed’s decision to consider any weakness on the economic data earlier this year to be primarily a consequence of extreme weather.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [5-9 May]: Manufacturing and services PMI™ releases to add insights into global economic trends
01 May 2014
The week sees key PMI reports released amid policy announcements from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. Industrial production numbers are meanwhile updated for a number of European countries, including Germany and the UK.
 
April
Japan Manufacturing PMI slides into contraction, but some signs point to short-lived impact from sales tax rise
30 April 2014
Manufacturing activity deteriorated in April, as production and new orders dropped sharply in the wake of the sales tax rise. The headline Markit/JMMA Manufacturing PMI registered one of the largest monthly falls on record, down from 53.9 in March to 49.4 in April. The latest reading signalled the first deterioration in manufacturing business conditions since February last year.
 
US economy stagnates in first quarter
30 April 2014
The US economy slowed to a standstill in the first quarter, according to preliminary official estimates. GDP rose at an annualised rate of just 0.1%, down from 2.6% in the final quarter of last year. The quarterly rate of increase rounds down to zero compared to 0.7% in the prior quarter.
 
First quarter UK GDP shows strongest annual rise since 2007
29 April 2014
The UK economy is enjoying its best spell of growth since 2007, with strong expansion in the first quarter setting the scene for a robust year of growth in 2014.
 
UK households push back expectations of first rise in interest rates
25 April 2014
British households have pushed back their expectations of when they consider it most likely the Bank of England to start to raise interest rates. The findings, based on survey data collected from 1,500 households in April by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Markit follow the Bank of England’s revised forward guidance and reassurances that recent strong economic growth will not lead to an imminent raising of interest rates, as well as signs of lower inflation.
 
UK retail sales beat expectations
25 April 2014
UK retail sales surprised on the upside again in March, with further robust increases likely in coming months as households push back their expectations of when the Bank of England will have to start rising interest rates despite the growing welter of good news on the economy and in particular the labour market.
 
US goods production rises at fastest pace for just over three years in April
24 April 2014
Manufacturers indicated a strong start to the second quarter of 2014, with the latest survey highlighting expanding levels of production, new work and employment. At 55.4 in April, the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI was down fractionally from 55.5 in March but still well above the neutral 50.0 value. Sharper rates of output and new business growth boosted the PMI during April, while the main negative influence on the headline index was a rise in the suppliers’ delivery times component.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [28 Apr - 2 May]: GDP estimates for US and UK followed by global manufacturing PMI surveys
24 April 2014
In a week that sees manufacturing PMI results provide early insights into industry trends at the beginning of the second quarter, we also see initial estimates of first quarter GDP growth in the UK and the US. Non-farm payrolls and the latest FOMC rate decision in the US plus unemployment and inflation data in the Eurozone are also among the week’s highlights.
 
China: PMI signals fourth monthly industrial contraction, though rate of decline eases
23 April 2014
Business conditions in China’s manufacturing economy deteriorated for a fourth successive month in April, according to the flash PMI produced by Markit for HSBC. The deterioration raises the possibility of a further weakening of GDP growth in the second quarter after growth slowed to 7.4% in the first quarter.
 
Eurozone Flash PMI: Employment returns to growth as business activity expansion nears three-year peak
23 April 2014
Growth of business activity in the euro area economy accelerated to its fastest for just under three years in April, leading to a return to job creation across the region. The Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index rose from 53.1 in March to 54.0 in April, according to the ‘flash’ estimate, which is based on around 85% of total survey replies. The latest reading was the highest since May 2011.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [21-25 Apr]: Flash PMI™ data for the US, China and Eurozone
17 April 2014
Wednesday’s Flash PMI™ data from Markit will provide early insights into the economic performance of the world’s largest economies at the start of the second quarter. Another standout in a relatively quiet week for data releases is the latest update on Russian monthly GDP, which will provide an indication as to whether the country has contracted in Q1 in line with the suggestion from the business survey data.
 
UK construction recovery hampered as rain halts play
11 April 2014
Bad weather took its toll on the UK building sector in February, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, despite a 2.8% fall in February, output in the first quarter is so far still running 0.6% higher than the final quarter of last year, which saw a 0.2% fall in output. Moreover, a strong upturn looks likely in coming months.
 
Global media sector sees fall in employment alongside muted activity growth
10 April 2014
The latest Global Sector PMI data from Markit showed that the level of business activity in consumer services increased in March. Included within this broad sector is media, which saw only marginal growth in output. Back in December 2013, media experienced a peak in business activity growth at a rate that was faster than the global all-sector average. Since then growth has moderated and remained broadly stable at a weak pace for the past three months. Moreover, media output grew at a slower pace than business activity in the related tourism & recreation sector in March.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [14-18 Apr]: First look at Q1 Chinese GDP
10 April 2014
Clues as to whether China’s growth will have slowed or picked up again in the first quarter of 2014 will be provided by updates to GDP and industrial production data. China’s annualised growth rate for the final quarter of last year dropped to 7.7% and growth is expected to have slowed further, as signalled by currently weak PMI survey data. Economists polled by Reuters are forecasting a growth rate of 7.3%. Other important releases in China include inflation data.
 
Rising UK employee pay sits uncomfortably with loose policy stance
09 April 2014
Income from employment is rising, and some sectors are already seeing pay growth well above inflation. With the recruitment industry reporting that salaries have risen at the fastest rate since 2007, policy makers will come under pressures to reassure that the easy-money stance is appropriate.
 
UK: Manufacturing output surge adds to signs of strong first quarter economic growth
08 April 2014
Manufacturing output expanded far more than expected again in February, adding to indications that the economic recovery has moved up a gear in 2014.
 
Global tech sector maintains growth momentum at end of Q1
08 April 2014
The latest batch of Global Sector PMI data from Markit showed a solid increase in the level of business activity at technology firms in March. Growth in the industry group accelerated fractionally since February and was the joint-fastest among the eight groups monitored with healthcare. Furthermore, over the first quarter as whole, technology firms shared the top position in the global growth ranking alongside consumer goods manufacturers.
 
Global Sector PMI: Metals & mining at foot of growth rankings in March
07 April 2014
Markit’s latest global sector PMI data indicated weakening output growth in the global basic materials industry in March. This reflected slowdowns in both metals & mining and chemicals. In contrast, forestry & paper products was at the top of the detailed sector rankings during the month. Metals & mining posted a lower Output Index reading than any other sector in March. At 50.5, the latest data still indicated expansion, but at a marginal rate.
 
Solid growth of US non-farm payrolls allays fears of economic slowdown
04 April 2014
Non-farm payrolls came in close to expectations in March, up 192,000, the rise accounted for entirely by the private sector. The unemployment rate was more disappointing, holding steady at 6.7% instead of dipping to 6.6%, as per the market consensus, but the participation rate rose slightly to the highest since last autumn.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [7-11 Apr]: Industrial production and inflation updates across Eurozone countries
04 April 2014
The Bank of England announces their latest rate decision, while the FOMC releases minutes from its March meeting. The week also sees industrial production and inflation data for a number of European countries, while trade data and consumer prices are issued in China.
 
Emerging market output growth slows to marginal pace
04 April 2014
The HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI™ surveys, fell for the fourth month running to 50.3 in March, from 51.1 in February, indicating only a marginal increase in private sector output across global emerging markets.
 
US services activity growth rebounds in March, but new orders rise at slower pace
04 April 2014
March data pointed to a further increase in business activity across the U.S. service sector, and the rate of expansion accelerated from the snow-related four-month low seen during February. However, job creation remained only modest in March, partly reflecting a moderation in new business growth to its weakest for a year-and-a-half.
 
Japan’s economy slows as confidence slides ahead of sales tax rise
03 April 2014
Although PMI data indicate that Japan’s economy is growing faster than recent official data have indicated, the surveys also suggest that the economy has started to slow even before April’s sales tax rise.
 
Impacts of the Fed’s taper on vulnerable emerging markets
03 April 2014
As the US Federal Reserve continues to cut back its asset purchases, in a process often referred to as the ‘taper’, much has been made of the effect this has had, and may have in future, on emerging markets. Brazil, India, South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia are reckoned to be most at risk. This note uses PMI data to look at how these economies have fared since the taper began.
 
Russian economy contracts in first quarter
03 April 2014
Russian PMI data for Q1 2014 signalled the worst business conditions for manufacturers and service providers since mid-2009. The Composite PMI Output Index fell to 47.8 in March, signalling contraction. Given that manufacturing and services have supported recent economic growth this decline could act as a significant drag on total GDP unless other sectors such as utilities and construction pick up.
 
UK PMIs signal strong end to Q1, but also point to slower pace of expansion and easing price pressures
03 April 2014
The March PMI™ surveys signalled a strong end to what looks to have been another quarter of above-trend economic growth of at least 0.7%. Growth may weaken from here, but only modestly with no sharp easing in sight. Employment growth has likewise moderated, but so have price pressures.
 
Eurozone recovery broadens out to encompass big-four nations
03 April 2014
The recovery prospects for the euro area economy continued to brighten in March. At 53.1, the final Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index signalled output growth for the ninth successive month, underpinned by improving market conditions and rising levels of new business.
 
Japan to suffer double hit from sales tax rise and equity market losses
01 April 2014
Weak manufacturing data were to be expected in Japan after record snowfall disrupted businesses, but any hope that there was a spending spree on goods before the country’s sales tax rose from 5% to 8% on 1st April were dashed by official data showing disappointing manufacturing trends.
 
Global manufacturing momentum slows in March, prompts price cuts
01 April 2014
Business conditions in the world’s factories continued to improve in March, building on the recovery that has been evident over the past year. However, the rate of improvement slowed from the near-three-year high seen in February to the weakest for five months, and weaker growth of new orders suggests the pace of expansion could slow further.
 
March
Continued expansion in output for Japanese manufacturers
31 March 2014
The headline seasonally adjusted Markit/JMMA Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) – a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of the performance of the manufacturing economy – posted at 53.9 in March, down from 55.5 in February. This was the thirteenth consecutive month of improvement, although business conditions strengthened at the slowest pace since September last year.
 
PMI-based advance indicators of US BLS non-farm payroll data
28 March 2014
Markit‘s US PMI survey coverage encompasses private sector services as well as manufacturing. The surveys include a number of indicators, such as output, new orders, prices and employment. While the output index acts as a reliable guide to GDP, the employment index also provides an accurate advance guide to the official non-farm payroll data published by the Bureau for Labor Statistics.
 
UK upturn spurs rise in business investment, but household savings fall
28 March 2014
Official data confirm that the UK economy grew 0.7% in the final quarter of last year, but also brought mixed news on the make-up of growth. On one hand, we saw confirmation that business investment is rising at a robust pace, which adds to signs of the sustainability of the recovery, but the trade deficit widened to the second highest on record. A fall in the savings ratio also suggests current household consumption is too reliant on people delving into their savings and therefore unsustainable, unless of course incomes start to rise.
 
UK retail sales stage strong rebound from a weather-torn January
27 March 2014
UK retail sales rebounded strongly in February, with shoppers returning to the high street after having been deterred by extreme weather in January. Sales jumped 1.7% compared with January, against expectations of a mere 0.5% rise, pushing sales volumes 3.7% higher than a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics.
 
US economy ended 2013 with more momentum than previously thought
27 March 2014
The US economy grew faster than previously thought in the final quarter of last year, with higher consumer spending and business investment on equipment presenting a healthier picture of the economy before the bad weather hit at the start of 2014. The Commerce Department revised up its estimate of annualised growth of gross domestic product from 2.4% to 2.6%.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [31 Mar - 4 Apr]: Worldwide manufacturing and services PMI releases
27 March 2014
The week sees the manufacturing, services and whole economy PMI reports released worldwide amid the policy announcement from the European Central Bank. US non-farm payroll numbers and factory orders are closing highlights of the week.
 
UK income squeeze lowest for over four years as inflation falls to 1.7%
25 March 2014
UK inflation fell to its lowest for over four years in February, reducing the squeeze on the cost of living while at the same time enabling to Bank of England to keep interest rates low for longer. The big uncertainty for the outlook for inflation lies with wages and salaries, which are finally starting to show signs of rising. The question is whether they will rise enough to worry policymakers into tightening policy sooner than currently envisaged.
 
Chinese factories report steepening downturn in March
24 March 2014
Business conditions in China’s manufacturing economy deteriorated at the fastest rate since last July in March, according to the flash PMI produced by Markit for HSBC. The deterioration points to a slowdown in GDP growth in the first quarter and raises the spectre of the economy failing to meet the government’s 7.5% growth target in 2014.
 
Eurozone recovery prospects brighten as France returns to growth
24 March 2014
The euro area economy continued to enjoy its strongest spell of growth since the first half of 2011 in March. The flash estimate of the Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index came in at 53.2, only slightly lower than February’s 32-month high of 53.3 and registering expansion for the ninth consecutive month.
 
Robust US and eurozone growth contrasts with steepening downturn in China
24 March 2014
Markit’s flash PMI surveys showed ongoing marked divergences between manufacturing trends in the US, Eurozone and China in March. While business conditions deteriorated for a third month running in China, as factory output showed the largest fall since September 2012, ongoing robust rates of expansion in the US and Eurozone rounded off their best quarters since early-2011.
 
UK households less in tune with forward guidance than businesses
21 March 2014
British households’ views on when they consider it most likely that the Bank of England will start to raise interest rates were largely unchanged in March, remaining generally far more bullish than business survey respondents.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [24-28 Mar]: Flash PMIs for China, Eurozone and the US
20 March 2014
In a week that sees flash PMI™ results provide early insights into business trends in the US, China and Eurozone at the end of the first quarter, we may also see a revision to fourth quarter GDP in the US and UK. Sentiment indicators across Europe, the inflation rate for Japan, US durable goods orders and the Bank of England’s FPC meeting are also among the week’s other highlights.
 
UK: Tightening labour market drives pay growth higher
19 March 2014
Unemployment fell further in February, and looks set to decline further in coming months, while pay growth also continues to revive. Pay is now rising well above inflation in manufacturing, construction and retail. The total number in employment meanwhile rose to a record high of 30.2 million and job vacancies hit the highest since late-2008.
 
Companies’ expansion plans buoyed by Bank of England policy guidance
17 March 2014
The Bank of England's policy of 'forward guidance' has made the majority of companies feel more confident about the near-term prospects for the UK economy, according to a survey conducted by Markit.
 
Official UK data show odd-looking slump in exports and construction output
14 March 2014
While survey data suggest near-record export growth and a booming construction sector are key factors behind a surge in economic growth in the UK, official data on construction output and exports released today paint a markedly darker picture of the economy than survey data.
 
US retail sales and labour market show better than expected resilience to cold weather
13 March 2014
Jobless benefit claims and retail sales both beat expectations, providing reassurances that the US is coping better than many had anticipated in face of severe cold weather.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [17-23 Mar]: UK Budget and US production
13 March 2014
Next week’s economic calendar features the publication of the 2014 UK Budget, alongside unemployment figures and the minutes from the latest Bank of England meeting. The US sees the release of industrial production data and inflation numbers, while the Eurozone also issues an update on consumer prices.
 
Eurozone manufacturing output trends higher at fastest rate since April 2011
12 March 2014
Manufacturing output in the euro area rose 0.3% in January, according to the official statistics body Eurostat. The increase took output 1.3% higher over the latest three months, its strongest increase over any three month period since April 2011. The latest rise followed a 1.5% increase in November and a flat December.
 
UK manufacturers enjoy solid start to what’s expected to be a boom year
11 March 2014
A better than expected January sets the scene for what may be a boom year for UK manufacturers. Manufacturing enjoyed a strong start to the year, according to official data, and new survey evidence indicates that the year as a whole may be one of the best that goods producers have seen in recent history.
 
Markit Global Business Outlook: Developed world set to lead strengthening global upturn in 2014
11 March 2014
The latest Markit Global Business Outlook Survey, conducted in February and based on responses from a panel of 11,000 companies, showed the highest degree of business optimism for two years. However, improving confidence and post-crisis high capex and hiring intentions in the developed world contrast markedly with ongoing downbeat expectations for the year ahead across the emerging markets.
 
Consumer goods group moves to top of global sector growth rankings
10 March 2014
February’s global sector PMI data dump showed a broad-based expansion of business activity across all eight groups monitored by the business survey. The biggest improvement in performance was recorded by the consumer goods group, which also led the overall growth rankings in February with its fastest expansion in close to four years.
 
UK recruitment industry reports further surge in employment and wage growth
07 March 2014
Employment and recruitment agencies reported another month of surging demand for staff in February, with employment continuing to rise strongly and wages rising at a robust pace as employers offer more pay amid growing competition for a dwindling pool of suitable staff.
 
US: Hiring beats expectations in February, but trend weakened by wet weather
07 March 2014
Severe winter weather looks to have less of a dampened effect on hiring by US companies than anticipated. Non-farm payroll rose 175,000 in February, against market expectations of a 149,000 rise. January’s tally was increased from 113,000 to a slightly more respectable 129,000.
 
Emerging market growth slows further
06 March 2014
The HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI™ surveys, fell for the third month running to 51.1 in February, from 51.4 in the first month of 2014. That signalled the weakest growth in global emerging market output since last September, with the EMI also remaining well below its long-run trend level of 54.0.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [10-14 Mar]: Key industrial production data among highlights
06 March 2014
The week sees industrial production data for the eurozone, the UK, Japan and China. The UK also sees updates to trade and retail sales, while the second estimate of fourth quarter GDP is published in Japan.
 
Eurozone economic growth accelerates to 32-month record
05 March 2014
Final February PMI data signalled an acceleration in the rate of expansion of the eurozone economy to a 32-month high, an improvement on the mild deceleration indicated by the flash estimate.
 
UK: Job creation hits all-time high as economic growth surge continues in February
05 March 2014
Companies took on a record number of extra staff in February, according to PMI™ surveys, as firms boosted capacity in response to a brightening economic outlook. Despite unusually wet weather, the surveys signalled yet another month of vibrant business activity in February, suggesting the UK economy remains on course to notch up another quarter of robust growth.
 
Global growth slips as key economies hit by extreme winter weather
05 March 2014
The global economy continued to grow in February, albeit with extreme weather causing a slowdown in the rate of expansion. The JPMorgan Global PMI™, compiled by Markit from its worldwide business surveys, fell to a four-month low of 53.0 in February, down from 54.0 in January, signalling a slowing in the pace of global economic growth.
 
Sharpest improvement in US manufacturing business conditions since May 2010
03 March 2014
At 57.1 in February, up from 53.7 in January, the final seasonally adjusted U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) signalled the strongest improvement in business conditions for 45 months. The headline index was much higher than the three-month low posted in January, and indicated a robust overall manufacturing sector performance.
 
UK manufacturing employment rises at fastest pace since May 2011
03 March 2014
The strong upswing in the UK manufacturing sector was maintained during February, as levels of production and new business continued to rise at robust and above-trend rates. The solid performance of the sector again filtered through to the labour market, with jobs added at the fastest pace since May 2011.
 
Eurozone manufacturing recovery continues
03 March 2014
At 53.2 in February, the final seasonally adjusted Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI came in above the earlier flash estimate of 53.0. Although indicating a modest slowdown in the rate of expansion from January’s 32-month high, this still confirmed that the manufacturing recovery had completed its eighth successive month.
 
PMI signals modest deterioration of Chinese manufacturing business conditions in February
03 March 2014
Chinese manufacturers signalled reductions of both output and new business in February, leading to a moderate deterioration of overall operating conditions. As a result, firms cut their staffing levels again in February and at the quickest pace in nearly five years. Meanwhile, input costs and output charges both declined at their fastest rates in eight months.
 
World’s factories report best performance for almost three years
03 March 2014
Business conditions in the world’s factories showed the largest monthly improvement for almost three years in February. The JPMorgan Global PMI™, compiled by Markit from its surveys, rose to 53.3, up from 53.0 in January. That was the highest reading since April 2011.
 
February
Japan manufacturing PMI slips from near-eight-year high but still signals strong expansion
28 February 2014
The Markit/JMMA PMI fell from 56.6 in January to 55.5, but remained close to the all-time high of 57.0 to signal one of the strongest expansions of business activity in the goods producing sector seen over the past decade.
 
US fourth quarter economic growth revised lower but pace remains firm
28 February 2014
The US economy grew less than previously thought in the closing quarter of last year, but the details of the report suggest that investment is growing at an increased rate and underlying demand continued to expand at a reassuringly robust rate, given the headwinds during the closing months of 2013.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [3-7 Mar]: Manufacturing and services PMI releases to add insights into global economic trends
27 February 2014
The week sees the manufacturing, services and whole economy PMI™ reports released worldwide amid policy announcements from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. US non-farm payroll numbers are a closing highlight of the week.
 
2013 UK growth revised down but outlook brightens on rising business investment
26 February 2014
The UK economy grew less than first thought last year, but the estimate for the fourth quarter was left unchanged at 0.7% and the details of the latest release bode well for stronger growth in 2014.
 
UK retail sales remain on firm upward trend despite weather-hit January
21 February 2014
Retail sales fell more than expected in January, but once the decline is looked at in context of the atrocious weather seen during the month and the surprisingly strong rise that had been recorded in December, the underlying trend in the data suggests that a brightening mood among UK households is translating into higher consumer spending.
 
Eurozone PMI signals ongoing robust recovery as new orders show largest rise since mid-2011
20 February 2014
The euro area economy continued to expand at a robust pace in February, enjoying its strongest run of growth since the first half of 2011. The flash estimate of the Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index fell slightly to 52.7 in February, but remained close to January’s 31-month high of 52.9. The PMI has now held above the 50.0 no-change level for eight successive months, signalling a continuous expansion of business activity since last July.
 
UK: Fears of higher interest rates rose ahead of forward guidance review
20 February 2014
British households again pulled forward their expectations of when they consider it most likely the Bank of England to start to raise interest rates in February. Survey data collected from 1,500 households in February by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Markit found that some 46% expect the Central Bank to start raising interest rates within the next year, up from 41% in January. That was the highest proportion seen since survey data were first collected last July.
 
Chinese factories report second month of decline, cut jobs at fastest rate for five years
20 February 2014
The Chinese manufacturing economy contracted for a second successive month in February, according to the flash PMI produced by Markit for HSBC. After allowing for seasonal influences such as the new year holidays, the PMI fell for a fourth month running, down from 49.5 in January to 48.3 in February, its lowest since July of last year.
 
U.S. manufacturing sector performance rebounds strongly in February
20 February 2014
February data suggested a solid rebound in U.S. manufacturing business conditions following the slowdown recorded during the previous month. This was highlighted by a rise in the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI , which is based on approximately 85% of usual monthly replies, from 53.7 in January to 56.7 in February. The latest reading pointed to the fastest overall improvement in U.S. manufacturing business conditions since May 2010.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [24-28 Feb]: Clues sought for US economy’s resilience
20 February 2014
Deflation in the Eurozone, the pace of economic growth in the US after severe weather hit the country and ‘Abenomics’ are all key themes for next week. Gross domestic product for the US may be revised down slightly after initial data showed the economy grew a peer-beating 0.8% in the final three months of the year, but more important is to ascertain if the recent run of weak data for January have been a temporary symptom of unusually severe winter weather or the start of a more worrying slowdown. The Fed is clearly keen to pursue its taper policy but any ongoing softness of data in February could cause a rethink.
 
Eurozone manufacturing recovery stretches to eight months in February
20 February 2014
The eurozone manufacturing recovery entered its eighth successive month in February. At 53.0, the Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI – typically based on around 85%-90% of final survey responses – posted the second-highest reading since mid-2011 and remained close to January’s 32-month record of 54.0.
 
UK pay growth creeps high as labour market continues to tighten
19 February 2014
Pay growth in the UK showed signs of lifting higher towards the end of last year as job creation continued to surge in the fourth quarter.
 
Inflation drops below Bank of England target for first time since 2009
18 February 2014
A drop in UK inflation to the lowest since November 2009 means the UK economy is enjoying a welcome combination of strong economic growth and low inflation. This “Goldilocks” scenario adds to the scope for policymakers to keep their foot on the accelerator for longer via lower interest rates to help drive a strong and more sustainable recovery.
 
UK: Revised official data adds to signs of recovering construction sector
14 February 2014
Rather than contracting 0.3%, as initially thought, the construction industry grew 0.2% in the final quarter of last year, according the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics. Output jumped 2.0% in December.
 
GDP data confirm eurozone’s gathering recovery prospects
14 February 2014
Economic growth figures for the final quarter of last year add to survey evidence that the eurozone’s recovery has moved up a gear. Not only has the pace of growth picked up to the fastest since the second quarter of 2011, but the recovery is also becoming more broad-based, encompassing core and so-called ‘periphery’ countries alike.
 
Big chill hits US factories in January
14 February 2014
A surprise fall in industrial production in January provides further signs that the US economy is going through a tough spot as harsher than usual winter weather causes widespread disruptions.
 
German economic growth accelerates slightly and beats forecast
14 February 2014
Official data showed that the eurozone’s largest economy expanded a consensus-beating 0.4% in the final three months of 2014, adding to survey evidence of continuous growth in Germany. Economists polled by Reuters had forecasted a 0.3% rise, while the government expected 0.25% growth.
 
Global basic materials output expands at solid rate in January, though pace eases from December
13 February 2014
Building on the strong growth evident in Q4 2013, global basic materials industry grew for the eighth month running in January, according to Markit Global Sector PMI data. Though the monthly rate of growth was solid, it eased from December and was the weakest in three months.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [17-21 Feb]: Flash PMIs for China, Eurozone and the US
13 February 2014
Next week’s economic calendar features the first estimate of fourth quarter GDP for Japan, flash PMI results for China, US and the Eurozone and an update on the UK labour market.
 
Bank of England sets out expected course for interest rates
12 February 2014
Interest rates may need to rise by the spring of next year, according the Bank of England, but the speed of rate hikes thereafter will be slow and gradual. Even after several years rates will not return to anything like the 5% levels typically seen prior to the financial crisis.
 
Bank of England ‘forward guidance’ boosting business investment
12 February 2014
The Bank of England’s policy of ‘forward guidance’ and its related policy communications have made the majority of companies feel more confident about the near-term prospects for the UK economy, according to a survey conducted by Markit.
 
Global financial services activity rises solidly at start of 2014
11 February 2014
January Global Sector PMI data from Markit showed a solid rise in the level of business activity across the broad financials group, stretching the current sequence of expansion to 19 months. That said, the latest increase was slower than in December, with the group placing only sixth among the eight covered by PMI data in terms of output growth.
 
Worldwide PMIs highlight emerging market and developed world divergences
10 February 2014
The global economy maintained a robust pace of expansion in January, but the divergence between the growth rates in developed and emerging markets continued to widen.
 
Further solid growth in global industrial activity in January
10 February 2014
Markit’s global sector PMI data signalled a stronger increase in global industrial activity in January. Among eight broad sector groups covered by PMI data, industrials was the only one to post a faster rate of growth at the start of the year.
 
Global Sector PMI: Broad-based easing in growth in January
07 February 2014
Markit’s first batch of global sector PMI data for 2014 showed that many sectors posted weaker increases in output in January. That said, no areas registered falling business activity, highlighting an ongoing broad-based expansion across the global economy on a sector basis.
 
UK recruiters report strongest rise in demand for staff for over 15 years
07 February 2014
Recruitment agencies in the UK reported the strongest monthly rise in demand for permanent staff for fifteen and a half years in January. The surge in demand for staff, combined with dwindling availability of suitable candidates, pushed pay rates up sharply again.
 
UK manufacturing buoyed by export revival
07 February 2014
UK manufacturing continued to recover at a robust pace in the final months of 2013, buoyed by a welcome revival in exports, according to official data.
 
German industry sees payback in December after buoyant November, but trend remains solid
07 February 2014
German industrial production declined in December, but the drop followed a particularly marked rise in November. The increase in production over the final two months of last year was the strongest for nearly three years, suggesting the underlying trend is one of an economy that is gaining momentum.
 
US jobless rate hits lowest since 2008 but employment growth disappoints again
07 February 2014
The US labour market started the year on a weaker than expected footing, casting doubt on whether the Fed should proceed with any further tapering of its asset purchase programme.
 
Growth in EU consumer goods gains momentum at start of 2014
07 February 2014
The first set of EU sector PMI data for 2014 pointed to a further acceleration in the rate of expansion of consumer goods output. Having picked up for the third successive month, growth was the strongest for more than three-and-a-half years in January. Data showed a similar trend in new orders at firms operating within the group, suggesting momentum will be maintained at least throughout the early part of this year.
 
Bank of England policy makers plagued by data uncertainties
07 February 2014
The Bank of England’s new policy of forward guidance, introduced last summer, has revealed how policymakers have been caught out by the speed of the economic recovery. The faster than expected upturn has risked eroding credibility at the Bank.
 
Bank of England holds policy as Inflation Report awaited for more guidance
06 February 2014
The Bank of England left monetary policy unchanged at its February meeting. The Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the Bank’s main interest rate steady at 0.5% and the stock of asset purchases at £375bn.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [10-14 Feb]: First look at euro GDP in fourth quarter
06 February 2014
The most important economic releases of the week will come out of the eurozone, while central bank watchers will be poring over the Bank of England’s Inflation Report for signals on ‘forward guidance’.
 
ECB holds policy unchanged, in line with the signal from improving PMI survey
06 February 2014
The European Central Bank left monetary policy unchanged at its February meeting. The lack of action disappointed many observers who were hoping to see the Central Bank tackle the threat of deflation. Inflation has fallen to 0.7%, its lowest since November 2009 and well below the ECB’s target of below, but close to, 2%.
 
Spanish recovery remains on track at start of 2014
05 February 2014
The latest PMI data for Spain suggest that the economy remained on the road to recovery at the start of 2014. Official data indicated that GDP rose 0.3% on a quarterly basis during the final three months of 2013, and PMI data covering the manufacturing and services sectors signalled that growth accelerated further in January.
 
UK job creation returns to record high as business growth spurt continues in January
05 February 2014
The UK economy enjoyed a strong start to 2014, according to PMI surveys. Despite unusually wet weather, business activity continued to rise at a robust pace and hiring gathered further momentum to equal the record increase seen in October.
 
Strong manufacturing growth bolsters Japanese economy in January
05 February 2014
Business activity at private sector firms in Japan grew for a thirteenth successive month in January, continuing the longest unbroken expansion since composite PMI data were first available in September 2007. Moreover, whilst the rate of growth failed to surpass October’s record high, it did accelerate fractionally from December.
 
Sharpest rise in US service sector output for four months
05 February 2014
At 56.7 in January, up from 55.7 in December, the seasonally adjusted Markit U.S. Services PMI™ Business Activity Index posted above the neutral 50.0 value for the third successive month. Moreover, the latest reading indicated a robust pace of output expansion that was the steepest since September 2013.
 
UK construction sector sees near–record upturn across all sub-sectors
04 February 2014
The UK construction industry opened 2014 with its best month for almost six-and-a-half years, according to PMI data for January, despite some parts of the country seeing record rainfall.
 
Markets misled by US factory order book signal
04 February 2014
Stock markets have fallen sharply in what looks to be an over-reaction to a steep deterioration in the ISM survey. The ISM’s manufacturing new orders index suffered its largest fall in points terms since December 1980, plummeting 13.2 points from 64.4 in December to 51.2 in January. The drop in new orders contributed to a steep fall in the survey’s headline PMI, which dropped from 56.5 to 51.3.
 
Demand for investment goods in UK surges at fastest rate for two decades
03 February 2014
UK manufacturers are reporting surging demand for goods such as IT equipment, plant and machinery, suggesting that a long-awaited upturn in business investment is finally taking place.
 
Developed world leads global trade revival in January
03 February 2014
Worldwide PMI survey data signalled an increase in goods exports for a seventh straight month in January, indicating that the upturn in global trade flows seen late last year has persisted at the start of 2014. However, a widespread weakness of exports from emerging markets reveals how the upturn is being largely concentrated in the developed world.
 
Manufacturing highlights growing developed and emerging market divergences
03 February 2014
Global manufacturing continued to expand at a robust pace in January, with growth easing only slightly from December’s recent high. However, the divergence widened between the performance of developed and emerging countries.
 
US Manufacturing PMI eases to three-month low in January
03 February 2014
US manufacturers indicated that output and new business growth rates slowed in January, with some attributing this to disruptions from the extreme weather conditions at the start of the year. The slowdown also reflected in part a drop in new export orders for the first time since last September.
 
Strong UK manufacturing rebound continues
03 February 2014
The UK manufacturing sector made a positive start to 2014. Rates of expansion in output and new orders remained well above their respective long-run trends, supporting a solid increase in payroll numbers.
 
Eurozone Manufacturing PMI at 32-month high in January
03 February 2014
At 54.0 in January, a shade higher than the flash estimate of 53.9, the seasonally adjusted Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI confirmed the strongest rate of expansion in the eurozone manufacturing sector since May 2011. The headline PMI has risen in each of the past four months and has signalled growth since July last year.
 
January
Japanese manufacturers report record rise in production
31 January 2014
The Markit/JMMA PMI signalled a survey-record increase in manufacturing output in January, with higher production fuelled by the largest monthly surge in new orders for eight years. With employment also rising strongly, the headline PMI (a composite index based on five survey variables) rose to 56.6, its highest since February 2006.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [3-7 Feb]: PMI releases to give first insights into economic growth in 2014
30 January 2014
The week features worldwide manufacturing and services PMI™ releases, monetary policy decisions from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, plus US non-farm payrolls.
 
US GDP grows 0.8% in final quarter of 2013 in broad-based expansion
30 January 2014
The US economy grew by 0.8% in the final quarter of 2013, down from 1.0% in the third quarter. In annualised terms, growth slowed from 4.1% to 3.2%. The further expansion takes the economy 6.5% above its pre-crisis peak.
 
UK: Another quarter of robust growth
28 January 2014
The UK economy continued to grow at a robust pace in the final quarter of last year, confirming that the country is seeing the best period of growth since 2007. Further robust growth is also likely for the first quarter, with the recovery becoming more broad-based and sustainable-looking.
 
US: Sharpest rise in services business activity since September 2013
27 January 2014
At 56.6 in January, up from 55.7 in December, the Markit Flash U.S. Services PMI™ Business Activity Index signalled a further robust expansion of service sector output at the start of 2014. The latest ‘flash’ PMI reading, which is based on approximately 85% of usual monthly replies, pointed to the steepest rate of service sector growth for four months.
 
Gloom lifts over UK household finances amid lowest job concerns for at least five years and falling inflation perceptions
27 January 2014
At 41.5 in January, up from 40.9 in December, the seasonally adjusted Markit Household Finance Index (HFI) rose to its joint-highest level in the five-year survey history. The index matched the figure seen in August 2013. Although still below the neutral 50.0 value, the latest HFI reading continues the gradually improving trend since pressures on household finances peaked during the summer of 2011.
 
Eurozone manufacturing recovery gathers pace, led by strong German growth
23 January 2014
The eurozone manufacturing recovery remained firmly on track at the start of the new year. Growth rates for production and new business hit their quickest since April 2011, encouraging companies to raise employment for the first time in two years.
 
Eurozone Composite PMI hits highest since June 2011, signalling strengthening economic recovery
23 January 2014
The euro area private sector economy grew for a seventh consecutive month in January, according to the flash Markit Eurozone PMI, with the rate of growth accelerating to the fastest since June 2011. The headline PMI (which tracks output across both manufacturing and services) rose from 52.1 in December to 53.2.
 
Chinese manufacturing slides back into contraction at start of 2014
23 January 2014
The Chinese manufacturing economy contracted for the first time in six months in January, according to the flash PMI produced by Markit for HSBC. As well as indicating slower economic growth, the survey also pointed to a steepening rate of job losses and a marked decline in inflationary pressures.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [27-31 Jan]: US Q4 GDP follows flash services PMI
23 January 2014
Next week sees a busy economic calendar, including fourth quarter GDP estimates for the UK and the US, eurozone unemployment plus PMI results for Austria, China, Japan and the flash PMI for US services.
 
US output growth hits three-month low amid disruptions from "big freeze" in January
23 January 2014
At 53.7 in January, down from 55.0 in December, the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI, which is based on approximately 85% of usual monthly replies, signalled the slowest improvement in overall business conditions for three months. That said, the index was above the neutral 50.0 mark and slightly higher than its average for 2013 (53.5). Therefore, the latest survey results still indicate solid underlying growth across the U.S. manufacturing sector.
 
UK households see prospect of higher interest rates edging closer
22 January 2014
The date when British households expect the Bank of England to start to raise interest rates edged closer again in January. Survey data collected from 1,500 households by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Markit found that – of those that expressed a view – some 84% expect the central bank to start raising interest rates within the next two years, up from 78% in December and the highest seen since data were first collected last July.
 
UK unemployment rate falls to 7.1%
22 January 2014
The rate of unemployment in the UK continued to collapse in November. The headline rate fell from 7.4% to 7.1% in the three months to November, its lowest since March 2009. All eyes turn to the Bank of England to see how forward guidance will be modified to account for the far-faster than anticipated improvement in the labour market.
 
France: Investigating survey divergences with official GDP and employment data
21 January 2014
Recent official data on economic growth have diverged markedly from the PMI business survey data. However, a closer examination of the data shows the divergence to be less apparent than at first glance, attributable in part to the inclusion of the government sector in official data.
 
UK retail sales show strongest annual rise in nine years
17 January 2014
UK retail sales smashed through expectations in December. Despite the rise, sales over the fourth quarter as a whole slowed compared to the previous quarter, suggesting growth in the wider economy may also have weakened, but the strength of the latest upswing bodes well for a continuation of strong economic growth as we move into 2014.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [20-24 Jan]: Flash PMIs for China, eurozone and the US
16 January 2014
Next week sees a busy economic calendar, including GDP data for China over the weekend, flash PMI results for China, US and the eurozone during the week, plus the increasingly important UK labour market data.
 
German economy grows less than expected in 2013
15 January 2014
The German economy grew moderately in 2013, according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Gross domestic product rose 0.4% over the last 12 months, compared to 0.7% in 2012 and weaker than a 0.5% rise that had been forecasted by economists polled by Reuters.
 
Inflation hits Bank of England target for first time in over four years
14 January 2014
Inflation has hit the Bank of England’s 2.0% target for the first time since November 2009, suggesting that the UK economy is enjoying a period of strong growth and falling inflation.
 
US retail sales show strongest underlying growth trend for one-and-a-half years
14 January 2014
Stronger than expected retail sales in December add to business survey evidence to suggest that the US economy maintained a robust pace of economic growth and job creation at the end of last year.
 
Technology output growth accelerates at year end
13 January 2014
The latest Markit Global Sector PMI data indicated that the technology industry expanded sharply at the end of 2013, rounding off a strong final quarter and outpacing many other sectors. Among the eight broad industry groups covered by PMI data, technology was ranked second overall in the fourth quarter, behind basic materials.
 
Global consumer goods sector finishes a solid year in good health
10 January 2014
Worldwide consumer goods manufacturers enjoyed a relatively successful year in terms of output growth in 2013, according to Markit’s global sector PMI data. It was the group’s best annual performance since 2010, culminating in the fastest quarter of growth in three years. Compared with the other broad sector groups covered by PMI data, only financials expanded at a faster pace on average.
 
Official data paint disappointing picture of UK industry and construction in November
10 January 2014
Weaker than expected output of the industrial sector and a surprise drop in construction industry output in November suggest fourth quarter economic growth could come in lower than the surveys are indicating. Nevertheless, the economy remains firmly in recovery mode, and a rebound from this current bout of weakness looks likely in coming months.
 
US unemployment rate hits five-year low, but hiring disappoints
10 January 2014
A steep fall in unemployment in December ups the odds of further Fed tapering. Although non-farm payroll growth was disappointingly low, one month of weakness doesn’t represent a trend and, with other economic indicators showing robust growth toward the end of last year, talk will intensify about when interest rates should start rising if we see a resumption of robust employment growth in January.
 
Surge in UK recruitment points to upturn in pay growth and further jobless fall
09 January 2014
Job creation continued to surge in December, according to recruitment agencies. Alongside deteriorating staff availability, rising demand for workers pushed up pay rates at the fastest pace for six years. The data therefore suggest that unemployment should continue to fall sharply, possibly breaching the Bank of England’s policy threshold of 7% in early 2014, and that a return to real wages growth is in sight for 2014.
 
German industrial production growth adds hopes to acceleration of GDP growth
09 January 2014
German industrial production grew more than expected in October, adding to signs that the economy is enjoying a robust and broad-based upturn. The rise comes as a welcome relief, representing a strong rebound after production in the sector fell unexpectedly by some 1.2% in October.
 
Basic materials output expands sharply in Q4
09 January 2014
The latest Markit Global Sector PMI data indicated that the basic materials industry expanded sharply in the final quarter of 2013, recovering from a period of stagnation earlier in the year. On a quarterly basis, production expanded at the sharpest pace since the first quarter of 2011. Moreover, in the three months to December, of the eight broad sector groups it was the basic materials industry that registered the fastest growth.
 
Bank of England keeps rates on hold, but data raise questions about policy
09 January 2014
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted to leave interest rates unchanged at the all-time low of 0.5% in December, and left asset purchases unchanged at £375bn.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [13-17 Jan]: US retail sales set to improve
09 January 2014
The week sees further clues to US growth in the fourth quarter, as well as UK retail sales and inflation in December. Euro area industrial production and Japanese trade data are also notable highlights.
 
UK exports rise in November, but remain oddly lacklustre compared to surveys
09 January 2014
Official data indicated that UK goods exports rebounded in November, but the recent trend remains far weaker than indicated by business surveys. The weakness is also at odds with the general upward trend in global economic growth. The divergence is a puzzle, and suggests that the official data may have been understating trade growth in recent months.
 
German trade surplus widens
08 January 2014
Rising exports and falling imports pushed the German trade surplus to a near record high in November, suggesting trade will have helped boost economic growth in the fourth quarter. PMI data also indicate that the upturn in exports will have gained further momentum in December.
 
Financial services top global sector PMI rankings in 2013
08 January 2014
Markit’s detailed global PMI data showed that financial services registered the strongest overall business performance among the broad groups covered in 2013. It was the top-ranked group five times during the year, and second in two further months.
 
EU autos sector records sharp turnaround in 2013
08 January 2014
EU sector PMI data for 2013 showed a broad-based upturn in economic performance in Europe. One of the year’s biggest success stories was automobiles & auto parts which, after finishing bottom of the PMI league in 2012 (with the lowest average PMI score for the year as a whole), saw a sharp recovery and boasted the third-best quarterly average of all detailed sectors monitored by the survey in Q4 2013.
 
Emerging market growth checked at year end
07 January 2014
The HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI surveys, signalled overall growth of output across global emerging markets in December. But the EMI fell to 51.6, from 52.1 in November, signalling a weaker rate of expansion.
 
French constructors signal slower fall in activity at end of Q4
07 January 2014
The downturn in France’s construction sector eased in December. Activity and new orders both showed less marked contractions than one month previously, while firms’ expectations regarding the year ahead were less pessimistic.
 
Italian construction activity contracts in December
07 January 2014
The level of activity in Italy’s construction sector contracted in December amid a further reduction in new order intakes. The downturn was again broad-based across the three categories of activity monitored by the survey and led to further reductions in employment and purchasing activity. Constructors meanwhile faced the sharpest rise in average purchase prices for 11 months.
 
German retail sales rise in November
07 January 2014
Retail sales data suggest that Germany’s economic recovery is now spreading into the retail sector, following a two-month period of declining turnover. This means that sales in the sector are now on track to have increased by up to 0.5% in 2013. The data also add to signs that the recovery in Europe’s largest economy is broad-based across all sectors.
 
Japan: Private sector continues strong growth in December
06 January 2014
Japan’s economy continued to grow at a strong pace in December, though the pace of expansion remained below October’s record high. The latest PMI data showed business activity at private sector firms grew in every month of 2013, representing the longest continuous expansion since composite data were first available in September 2007.
 
Eurozone economic recovery accelerates at end of 2013
06 January 2014
The upturn in the eurozone private sector economy gained momentum in December. Although the recovery remained modest and fragile overall, growth of output was nonetheless recorded throughout the second half of 2013.
 
UK PMI surveys signal strong end to 2013
06 January 2014
Further strong economic growth was signalled by the Markit/CIPS PMI surveys in December, rounding off the best quarter of growth since the data were first available back in 1998. The weighted average of the Output Indices from the three PMI surveys fell for a second month, down from 60.4 in November to a five-month low of 59.5, indicating a further easing in the pace of growth compared to October’s all-time high, but remained elevated by historical standards.
 
Global economy ends 2013 on rising tide of job creation and higher demand
06 January 2014
The global economy maintained a robust pace of expansion in December. The JPMorgan Global PMI™, compiled by Markit from its panels of 20,000 manufacturing and service sector firms, eased from 54.2 in November to 54.0, but stayed well above the 50.0 no change level to signal one of the strongest months of growth since the initial rebound from the 2008-09 financial crisis.
 
UK construction ends best quarter since 2007 despite growth cooling in December
03 January 2014
The construction industry enjoyed another month of strong growth in December, according to PMI™ survey respondents. The sector consequently looks to have provided a major boost to the UK economy in the final quarter of 2013, with output and jobs growing at some of the fastest rates for just over six years.
 
Week Ahead Economic Overview [6-10 Jan]: Services PMI provides an update on December economic trends
03 January 2014
The first full week of 2014 is a busy one. Services PMI releases are followed by policy decisions from the Bank of England and the ECB, as well as the closely watched US non-farm payrolls report. Eurozone inflation and unemployment, UK industrial output and Chinese international trade numbers are also highlights of the week.
 
World’s factories end 2013 on a high note
02 January 2014
Global manufacturing ended 2013 on a high note, with growth of both output and employment picking up further momentum in December. The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI™, produced by Markit, edged higher to a 32-month high in December. The headline index was 53.3, up from 53.1, and the highest since April 2011.
 
Eurozone manufacturing records strongest growth in over two-and-a-half years
02 January 2014
The recovery in the eurozone manufacturing sector accelerated further at the end of 2013. The seasonally adjusted Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rose for the third month running to post 52.7 in December, up from 51.6 in November.
 
China Manufacturing PMI hits three-month low in December
02 January 2014
Chinese manufacturers signalled a further expansion of output in December, though the rate of growth eased from the previous month. New orders also rose at a fractionally slower pace, with foreign sales posting a slight decline for the first time in four months. Staffing levels fell for the second month in a row, while backlogs of work increased at a moderate pace.
 
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