October world factory activity expands slowly, stimulus still needed

Mon Nov 3, 2014 1:36pm EST
 
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By Jonathan Cable, Wayne Cole and Dan Burns

LONDON/SYDNEY/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global manufacturing activity increased last month at the same modest pace as in September, suggesting the need for continued economic policy stimulus, especially in Europe.JPMorgan's Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, produced with Markit, held steady at 52.2 in October. But it was one of the lowest readings this year, suggesting factory activity is expanding slowly.

"The global PMI continues to signal 3-4 percent annualized gains in manufacturing output as we head toward year-end," said David Hensley, a director at JPMorgan.

The index combines survey data from countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.

ASIA SLOWS, LED BY CHINA

Regional manufacturing surveys from Asia were littered with unwelcome landmarks, including a five-month low for activity in China, a four-month trough for South Korea and a 14-month low for Indonesia.

Chinese factory activity unexpectedly fell to a five-month low in October, reinforcing views that the country's economic growth is slowing.

The official Chinese Purchasing Managers' Index eased to 50.8 in October from September's 51.1, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday.   Continued...

 
A worker makes technical measurements with robots on the carbon chassis at the serial production BMW i3 electric car in the BMW factory in Leipzig September 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch