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Global economic downturn moderates in May, led by renewed growth in China

15 June 2020 Chris Williamson

The following is an extract from IHS Markit's monthly PMI overview presentation. For the full report please click on the link at the bottom of the article.

Global business activity contracted sharply in May, according to the latest PMI business survey data, dropping for a fourth successive month. Encouragingly, the rate of decline cooled markedly since April's record collapse as economies around the world started to ease lockdowns designed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, but was nonetheless the second-steepest in over two decades.

The JPMorgan Global PMI™ (compiled by IHS Markit) showed a record surge of just over 10 index points in May from 26.2 in April to 36.3. The improvement coincided with many countries loosening their coronavirus containment measures, such as enforced closures of non-essential businesses and social distancing restrictions, the intensity of which peaked in April. However, despite the rise in the index during May, the latest reading remained even lower than the prior-pandemic record low of 36.8 seen at the height of the global financial crisis in November 2008, reflecting the gradual pace at which economies were reopened and the ongoing paucity of demand.

Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist, IHS Markit
Tel: +44 207 260 2329

© 2020, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Purchasing Managers' Index™ (PMI™) data are compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide. The monthly data are derived from surveys of senior executives at private sector companies, and are available only via subscription. The PMI dataset features a headline number, which indicates the overall health of an economy, and sub-indices, which provide insights into other key economic drivers such as GDP, inflation, exports, capacity utilization, employment and inventories. The PMI data are used by financial and corporate professionals to better understand where economies and markets are headed, and to uncover opportunities.

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