May 24, 2019 - Economy & Business

There's "reason to worry" about global manufacturing

Data:; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios
Data:; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Manufacturing data released Thursday was weak all over the globe, signaling slowing international commerce.

Why it matters: "After global GDP was stronger than expected in Q1, the continued weakness in the latest business surveys among advanced economies suggests that the world economy will lose steam in the second quarter," economists at Capital Economics wrote in a note to clients.

  • Brett Ryan, senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, warns, "Any potential negative fallout from the latest escalation of trade tensions is likely to first show up in the PMIs, which have traditionally been leading indicators of capital spending."

What's happening: The preliminary U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 50.6, the lowest reading since 2009. An early reading on Japanese manufacturing PMI fell into contraction as export orders fell at the fastest pace in 4 months.

But perhaps the worst news came from the eurozone where readings on manufacturing have been in contraction since February and have missed economists' expectations in every month except March.

  • Eurozone manufacturing PMI fell again this month, and Ifo Institute for Economic Research President Clemens Fuest now says, "there is reason to worry."

Go deeper: Markets worldwide decide it's time to panic

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