The global manufacturing economy remained positive in March, with the rate of improvement in operating conditions steadying at February’s high according to the latest Global Report on Manufacturing from financial services firm J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (New York City) and business research firm NTC Economics Ltd. in association with the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM).
The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI posted at 55.2 in March, remaining above the neutral 50.0 mark for the thirty-third successive month. Underpinning the performance of world manufacturing were gains in output and new business. The Global Report said this was especially positive given that manufacturers were disrupted by supply-chain pressures, with average supplier performance declining sharply and cost inflation remaining high.
Production expanded at the fastest rate in more than 1-1/2 years, with growth broad-based by nation. The Global Manufacturing Output Index, at 57.6 in March, remained at a level broadly consistent with growth of global IP of around 6-7 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).
Among the largest industrial nations, the strongest performances came in the Eurozone. Euro area manufacturing output rose at the most robust pace since August 2000, and outpaced the U.S. for the first time in 3 years. Within the Eurozone, Germany recorded the sharpest growth (at nearly a 6-year peak), followed by Austria (fastest growth since May 2000), Italy (67-month high), and France (1-1/2-year peak).
Growth of U.S. manufacturing output steadied at a marked rate, while the pace of expansion in Japan remained close to recent survey record highs.
The Global Manufacturing New Orders Index fell slightly from February's high of 58.4 to 57.9 in March, but remained well above the neutral mark of 50.0. Growth of new business was strong in the Eurozone, expanding at the fastest rate since August 2000. The performance of Germany was especially positive, as new order volumes increased at the sharpest pace for almost 6 years. The U.S. and Japan also recorded solid increases in new business, although their respective rates of growth fell from recent highs.
PMI is a composite index. According to ISM, the acronym (PMI) stood for Purchasing Managers' Index prior to Sept. 1, 2001. ISM now uses only the acronym PMI due to ISM's name change and concurrent move to broaden its reach beyond the purchasing function.)
The Global Report on Manufacturing is based on the results of surveys carried out in the following countries that together account for an estimated 80 percent of global manufacturing output:
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