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Economy in Brief

The NTC MFG Index/Indices Continue to Drop 
by Robert Brusca May 2, 2008

The NTC MFG indices fell on broad front in April. Their declines were steeper than they have been. Still only Germany, Greece and the Netherlands are in the top half of their respective percentile ranges. The EMU economy as a whole is in the lower portion of its range of values since March of 2000. Italy, Spain and Ireland are showing extreme weakness. Still half of the EMU area’s MFG PMIs are showing expansion and are above the neutral 50 reading; the UK is another. EMU is looking vulnerable to weakness. EMU and its indices peaked in mid 2006. They cycled to a low in September of 2007, rebounded through early 2008 before taking a new leg down. The slide in Europe on the back of the rising euro makes sense. We still do not have much idea why Europe broke out of its declining phase from mid to late 2007 when the Euro was still strong. But its return to weakness makes sense.

NTC MFG Indices
  Apr-08 Mar-08 Feb-08 3Mo 6Mo 12Mo Percentile
Euro-13 50.74 52.03 52.34 51.70 52.21 53.15 44.5%
Germany 53.62 55.14 54.28 54.35 54.13 54.79 61.4%
France 51.12 51.88 53.81 52.27 52.86 52.68 39.9%
Italy 48.24 49.41 50.64 49.43 50.20 51.74 29.5%
Spain 45.19 46.42 46.72 46.11 48.06 50.21 12.4%
Austria 49.83 53.39 52.36 51.86 52.98 53.49 41.9%
Greece 54.38 52.73 52.35 53.15 52.98 53.50 57.9%
Ireland 44.69 46.01 49.78 46.83 48.12 50.73 0.0%
Netherlands 51.45 53.15 51.91 52.17 53.08 55.03 51.6%
EU
UK 50.96 51.25 51.24 51.15 51.73 53.18 50.6%
percentile is over range since March 2000    
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