U.S., UK, China manufacturing all in slow lane

Fri May 1, 2015 2:04pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Wayne Cole and Ryan Vlastelica

(Reuters) - Manufacturing activity growth remained sluggish in some of the world's major economies in April, suggesting that global economic growth remains "moderate and uneven," as the International Monetary Fund described it in its World Economic Outlook in April.

Manufacturing sector data for the eurozone and Latin America will be published on Monday after the May Day holiday in many countries on Friday.

Expansion in the U.S. manufacturing sector weakened in April as growth in output and new orders fell, according to financial data vendor Markit.

The final reading of the U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for April fell to 54.1 from 55.7 in March. A reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

April's growth was the slowest of 2015, and "the survey results raise worries that the dollar's appreciation is hurting the economy," said Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist. The U.S. dollar rose by about 25 percent against major currencies in the past nine months on a trade-weighted basis. .DXY

A separate survey of the U.S. manufacturing sector by the Institute of Supply Management showed expansion at its slowest pace in almost two years in April, as a rebound in new orders was offset by employment shrinking at the fastest pace in more than five years.

The ISM index of national factory activity was 51.5 in April, matching the March reading, which had been the lowest since May 2013, though this was the 29th-consecutive headline reading at or above 50.

The ISM manufacturing employment index fell into contractionary territory for the first time since May 2013, dropping to 48.3, the lowest since September 2009, from 50.0 in March.   Continued...

Smoke rises from a chimney among houses as new high-rise residential buildings are seen under construction on a hazy day in the city centre of Tangshan, Hebei province in this February 18, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/Files