The global economic picture brightened considerably on Monday, the US leading the way. From Bloomberg:
Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded faster than anticipated in October, easing concern the economic recovery will be cut short once government aid wanes.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 55.7, a three-year high and exceeding every estimate of the 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, data from the Tempe, Arizona-based group showed today...
The number of contracts to buy previously owned homes unexpectedly rose in September for an eighth straight month as Americans rushed to meet a deadline for a home-buyer tax credit, a report from the National Association of Realtors also showed today. The group’s pending home sales index rose 6.1 percent after a 6.4 percent gain in August, and were up 20 percent from the same time last year.
Figures from the Commerce Department showed spending on all construction unexpectedly rose 0.8 percent in September, the biggest gain in a year, driven by the largest increase in homebuilding since 2003.
Meanwhile, eurozone manufacturing has moved into expansion for the first time in 17 months. Bloomberg reports:
An index of manufacturing in the 16-nation euro area rose to 50.7 from 49.3 in September, London-based Markit Economics said today, confirming an Oct. 23 estimate for the gauge, which is based on a survey of purchasing managers. The last time the index was above 50, indicating expansion, was in May 2008.
UK manufacturing appears to be recovering even more sharply. From Reuters:
Manufacturing activity grew at its fastest rate in two years in October as new orders rose at their fastest in almost 6 years and firms started rebuilding their stocks, a survey showed on Monday. The CIPS/Markit purchasing managers index of manufacturing activity rose to 53.7 in October from an upwardly revised 49.9 in September, signalling the fastest pace of growth since November 2007 and beating forecasts for a rise to 50.0.
Meanwhile, manufacturing activity in China accelerated in October. AFP/CNA reports:
China's manufacturing activity continued to expand in October, as domestic and overseas demand strengthened and employment picked up, an independent survey published on Monday showed.
The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) rose to an 18-month high of 55.4 in October from 55.0 in September...
A separate official PMI compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics showed manufacturing activity rose to 55.2 in October - the highest since May 2008 - from 54.3 in September.
Data last week, however, showed a slight deceleration in manufacturing activity in Japan, the Nomura/JMMA Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index falling to 54.3 in October from 54.5 in September.
That did not stop the global manufacturing PMI from hitting 54.4 last month, the highest level in 39 months, and up from 53.0 in September.