Oct 3, 2019 - Economy

Things may not be that bad for global manufacturing

Illustration of a conveyor belt slowing down

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Tuesday's dramatic slide in U.S. manufacturing to the weakest level in 10 years generated jarring headlines and spooked the market, but there are signs the sector is improving on a global level.

Why it matters: Even in the U.S., things may not be as bad as the Institute for Supply Management's grim Tuesday report would suggest.

Between the lines: A survey of global manufacturing data from IHS Markit Tuesday showed that though the sector remains in contraction, the index rose for the second straight month.

  • Further, IHS Markit's U.S. manufacturing index showed "a marginally faster rate of improvement in the health of U.S manufacturing" and the highest reading in 5 months.
  • China, the world's No. 1 trading nation, looks to have recovered from weak readings earlier this year, which should help boost factory activity in the moribund eurozone and around the globe.
  • Emerging markets also have seen a solid reprieve with IHS' broad metric of EM manufacturing rising in September for a third consecutive month.

The last word: "The data provides no room for complacency, but is not quite as bleak as the ISM data suggests," Alan Ruskin, chief international strategist at Deutsche Bank, said in a note to clients.

Go deeper