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Global economy sees soft start to second quarter as growth slips to joint-weakest since 2016

13 May 2019 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 PMI slips to joint-lowest since 2016

The pace of global economic growth fell to its joint-lowest for two-and-a-half years in April, according to the latest business surveys, reflecting a broadly stagnant manufacturing economy and slower service sector growth. At 52.1 in April compared to 52.7 in March, the JPMorgan Global PMI, compiled by IHS Markit, was the joint-lowest since September 2016. While the average PMI reading for the first quarter was indicative of worldwide GDP rising at an annual pace of just over 2% (at market prices), the April reading suggests some of this momentum has been lost at the start of Q2. Business sentiment meanwhile sank lower, down to its weakest since June 2016. Uncertainty and trade wars remained the most commonly cited causes of reduced optimism.

Both current activity and future sentiment were weakest in manufacturing, where an eighth successive monthly drop in exports caused output to more or less stagnate. Services growth and confidence remained more resilient, though also lost ground compared to March.

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

© 2019, 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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