Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
Global| Mar 21 2024

PMIs Show Weakness in March Especially in Manufacturing

The S&P composite PMIs in March show broad weakness in Europe with the European Monetary Union composite getting weaker along with its manufacturing and services components. Germany displays the same 3-sector weakness along with France. The United Kingdom shows a weaker headline as well as weakness in services month-to-month, but its manufacturing sector strengthens on a month-to-month basis.

Japan, on the other hand, shows the strengthening across its composite, manufacturing sector, and services sector. Japan’s composite improves in each of the three months driven by an improvement in the services sector over each of the three months. Japan is the only country in the table to also show the services sector that improves year-over-year, over six months compared to 12 months, and over three months compared to six months. Japan's services sector is quite consistently driving strong improvement and it has a strong queue standing to back that up, in the 90th percentile, the only 90th percentile standing for any sector by any country in the table.

The U.S., like Japan, shows strength over the last three months. U.S. metrics show strengthening in the composite, the manufacturing sector, and the services sector in each of the last three months. However, despite this string of increases, the three U.S. sectors: the composite, and its components manufacturing, and services all show weakening on balance over three months, six months and 12 months. Note that the monthly data are ‘flash data’ while the sequential data over three months, six months, and 12 months are based on ‘hard data’ and lag by one-month for that reason.

The queue rankings portrayed by these PMI values, show only Japan's overall composite has a ranking at its 81st percentile driven by that 91st percentile standing in its services sector. Apart from that, the strongest standings are for services in the U.K. and services in the monetary union with 57-percentile standing, a much more modest positioning. The United Kingdom composite has a 53-percentile standing and the U.S. manufacturing sector has a 51-percentile standing, barely above its historic median. All the rest of the sector standings are below their respective 50th percentiles meaning they are below their historic medians on data back to 2020.

The weakest standings in the table are for manufacturing; the German manufacturing sector has a 14-percentile standing, France has a 22-percentile standing - the same as Japan's - while the monetary union has a 24.5 percentile standing for its manufacturing sector.

Last month the PMI data had shown some firmness; however, this month a lot of that seems to be fading away. The U.S. and Japan are exceptions to this, and we'll have to wait to see the more complete set of global data before we can make a judgment about the global manufacturing situation. But for now, the heart of the G7 countries appear to be struggling again based on monthly changes and continuing weak PMI standings.

  • Robert A. Brusca is Chief Economist of Fact and Opinion Economics, a consulting firm he founded in Manhattan. He has been an economist on Wall Street for over 25 years. He has visited central banking and large institutional clients in over 30 countries in his career as an economist. Mr. Brusca was a Divisional Research Chief at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY (Chief of the International Financial markets Division), a Fed Watcher at Irving Trust and Chief Economist at Nikko Securities International. He is widely quoted and appears in various media.   Mr. Brusca holds an MA and Ph.D. in economics from Michigan State University and a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan. His research pursues his strong interests in non aligned policy economics as well as international economics. FAO Economics’ research targets investors to assist them in making better investment decisions in stocks, bonds and in a variety of international assets. The company does not manage money and has no conflicts in giving economic advice.

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