Friday, 25 May 2012

Europe, China and US report weaker economic data

The bad news for Europe continued on Thursday with economic data coming out weak.

Markit's composite index for the euro area fell to 45.9 in May from 46.7 in April. The manufacturing PMI fell to 45.0 in May from 45.9 in April while the services index fell to 46.5 from 46.9.

Ifo's business climate index for Germany fell to 106.9 in May from 109.9 in April.

The UK economy's contraction in the first quarter was revised to 0.3 percent from 0.2 percent.

China's economy is also at risk. HSBC's manufacturing PMI for the country fell back to 48.7 in May from 49.3 in April.

Thursday's data showed that even the US economy may be succumbing to the global slowdown. Durable goods orders rose just 0.2 percent higher in April after having fallen 3.7 percent in March. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.6 percent. Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, an indicator of business investment, fell 1.9 percent.

Further indication on Thursday of a slowdown in US manufacturing came from Markit, whose preliminary index fell to 53.9 in May from 56.0 in April.

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