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Economy in Brief

Very Weak Results for MFG: Europe is Going DOWN!
by Robert Brusca October 1, 2008

The PMI details for the e-Zone and the UK makes for dismal reading. After a widespread but small rebound in August the various indices all are lower in September. All readings are below the 50% mark except for Greece. The overall EMU reading resides in the bottom 13% of its range of values since early 2000. Germany is relatively stronger in its 30th percentile, awhile France resides in its 4th percentile. The UK is at its weakest point for that same period.

Slow growth and financial turmoil have been slow to grip the e-Zone or at least slow to be revealed. Overnight VDMA’s engineering orders for Germany posted another drop and the UK services sector came up dead flat in Q3. Surprisingly retail sales in Germany rose sharply after two months of drops and auto sales in France rose. Overall the EMU unemployment rate did edge up although Germany has continued to show the number of unemployed still dropping.

There is little in the way of truly mixed data for Europe. For the most part it is simply weak and getting weaker. The spots of strength in the data today seem to be counter point anomalies. With so much weakness elsewhere in key reports as well as in the day’s MFG report from Markit, EMU seems clearly and firmly on the path to economic contraction.

NTC MFG Indices
  Sep-08 Aug-08 Jul-08 3Mo 6Mo 12Mo Percentile*
Euro Area 44.97 47.55 47.38 46.63 48.40 50.37 12.1%
Germany 47.36 49.68 50.90 49.31 51.28 52.55 30.5%
France 42.97 45.79 47.05 45.27 47.94 50.35 4.2%
Italy 44.42 46.77 45.32 45.50 46.62 48.67 7.4%
Spain 38.32 42.40 39.20 39.97 41.59 45.19 0.0%
Austria 46.01 48.61 46.97 47.20 48.26 50.87 17.3%
Greece 50.79 52.46 51.63 51.63 52.81 52.97 33.1%
Ireland 43.70 44.88 43.39 43.99 44.43 46.91 2.5%
Netherlands 48.30 49.82 47.99 48.70 50.02 51.94 33.6%
European Union
UK 40.97 45.33 44.11 43.47 45.95 49.05 0.0%
*Percentile is over range since March 2000
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