If the raft of data released yesterday is to be believed, then advanced economies around the world are set to for an Autumn boost.
The data comes courtesy of Markit. In the first few days of every month, we see a raft of purchasing managers’ indexes, or PMIs, covering both manufacturing and services. The indexes, which are produced by asking purchasing managers a series of questions, are watched closely and may just about be the best tools for providing advance guidance on the strength of the economy. So, on the first working day of each month, we get the manufacturing PMI for the month just ended – which is pretty prompt.
But these days, the markets can’t wait until the end of the month, they want the data as soon as possible. And so, in response, Markit produces its flash PMIs, early version of the full PMI, drawn from a smaller number of respondents.
That means the data is not so accurate but it remains a reasonable guide.
The flash PMIs for October were out yesterday and they were good.
All-told, we saw indexes covering the US, Japan and the Eurozone. Collectively they rose to their highest level since October last year, with a collective reading of 52.9 – to put that in context, any reading over 50 suggests growth.
For the Eurozone, the collective flash PMI rose to 53.7, which suggests quarterly growth of around 0.4%, up a tad from the previous quarter which grew at 0.3%.
The index covering both Japan and the US was up too. In the US, the PMI jumped to 53.2, the highest level in a year. Focusing on the US, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said: "Output and new orders are rising at the fastest rate for a year amid increasingly widespread optimism that demand will pick up again after the presidential election, which has been commonly cited as a key factor that has subdued spending and investment in recent months.”
As for Japan, the index tracking new orders rose to a nine month high.
The only black mark yesterday related to the UK, with the latest survey from the CBI tracking manufacturing a touch disappointing, with the headline index tracking orders falling from minus five to minus 17, and covering October. On the other hand, the index did provide evidence that the fall in the pound has help lift exporters, with the CBI index tracking exports rising from plus 10 to plus 17, compared to an historic average of just plus three.
Lets’ not over egg this data. It is neither conclusive nor evidence of exceptional growth – but it does at least point to a pick-up across the US, Japan and Euro area.
Markit does not produce flash PMIs for the UK, so we will have to wait until next week before we get a better feel for how the UK did in October.