Manufacturing numbers out of Europe are flat this month – a continuation of May’s dismal Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reading of 45.1, the lowest it’s been in three years.
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Surprisingly, the manufacturing contraction isn’t just limited to the usual suspects – a lineup these days almost exclusively drawn from Southern Europe. The eurozone champions are involved, as well.
Germany and France are being dealt blows to their manufacturing sectors. And Germany in particular is seeing its steepest decline in three years, outpaced only by Greece in severity.
Rob Dobson is an economist at Markit Economics:
“The employment numbers – we’re also starting to see them come down as well, including in Germany. Indeed, all countries within that survey reported a decline in employment apart from Ireland. So what we’re seeing is weakness in the output coming through into the labor market which is going to be a bad thing for the economy heading forward.”
In a separate indication of global manufacturing contraction, the Institute for Supply Management reduced its index of factory activity in the United States from 53.5 to 49.7.
Like the PMI, the ISM’s index indicates growth when above 50 and contraction when below. The United States hasn’t seen a level of contraction on the ISM since July 2009, a sign that the euro contagion might be reaching North American shores.