There are two parts to the monthly PMI releases: the headline PMI number, designed to provide a snapshot of the health of the economy, and the sub-indices, or component level data. These sub-indices provide unrivalled insight into key economic drivers, such as inflation, exports, employment and inventories.
Each country PMI survey for the manufacturing or service sector is based on questionnaire responses from panels of senior purchasing executives (or similar) at over 400 companies. The survey panels are carefully recruited to accurately represent the true structure of that sector.
Questionnaires are completed in the second half of each month and the survey results are then processed by Markit’s economists. Respondents are asked to state whether business conditions for a number of variables have improved, deteriorated or stayed the same, compared with the previous month. Reasons for any changes are also requested from respondents.