U.S. and euro zone business improves, Asia a concern

Thu Sep 3, 2015 1:49pm EDT
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By Jonathan Cable and Clive McKeef

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global manufacturing and service sector activity expanded in August at the same pace as in July, with both the U.S. and euro zone doing better than Asia, according to purchasing manager surveys.

"Scratching beneath the headline numbers, however, reveals an ongoing disparity between the relatively strong performance of the developed nations whereas growth in the emerging markets is quite weak," said David Hensley, a director at JPMorgan.

JPMorgan's Global All-Industry Output Index, produced with private data vendor Markit, held steady at July's 53.7 last month and has been above the 50 mark that divides growth from contraction since October 2012.

Markit's global service sector purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 54.4 in August from 54.1 in July, though on Tuesday the world manufacturing PMI expanded at its weakest pace in just over two years last month.

"The trend in key regions such as Asia will need to improve if global growth in 2015 is to exceed its 2014 outcome," Hensley said.

The global PMIs combine survey data from countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.


SUVs move through the assembly line at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas June 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Stone