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Economy in Brief

European PMIs Remain Weak
by Robert Brusca September 23, 2008

Surveys show that both the MFG and services PMI’s slipped in September. But the MFG PMI fell harder. Still, over this relatively short horizon (since January 2006) this is the weakest reading on record for services. For MFG it is the weakest reading on this horizon as well.

Taking the MFG reading back to 1997 it stands in the bottom 13% of its range. That is a higher relative position to be sure but still quite weak and not much source of solace.

The PMIs confirm that economic activity in Europe continues to slip. The most recent month’s orders series for EMU (June) showed a rise, but that was from the volatile transportation sector. Excluding transportation, orders were still falling in June. The more topical PMI survey data give a peek into September and we can see that slippage has continued apace right up to date. It is for their relatively greater timeliness that these surveys on MFG and services are so prized.

FLASH Readings
Markit PMIs for the Euro Area 15   MFG   Services
Sep-08   45.34   48.15
Aug-08   47.55   48.46
Jul-08   47.38   48.32
Jun-08   49.16   49.13
Averages
3-Mo   48.03   48.21
6-Mo   49.58   49.41
12-Mo   51.06   51.24
33-Mo Range
High   57.61   61.21
Low   45.34   48.15
% Range   0.0%   0.0%
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