Monday, 4 June 2012

May data show slower US economic growth

Data at the end of last week did not bode well for the United States economy's role as an engine of global economic growth.

Based on its survey of purchasing managers, the Institute for Supply Management's PMI for US manufacturing fell to 53.5 in May after having hit a one-year high of 54.8 in April.

The resilient US manufacturing sector had been instrumental in offsetting the slowdown elsewhere in the world over the past few months.

The drop in the ISM PMI last month, however, together with weaker PMI readings elsewhere, helped pull the JPMorgan global manufacturing PMI down to 50.6 in May, the lowest reading in five months, from 51.4 in April.

JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI
Global PMI51.450.6
New orders51.851.4
Input prices56.250.0

The slowdown in the US manufacturing sector may be part of a broader deceleration in the economy.

The US employment report on Friday showed that nonfarm payrolls increased just 69,000 in May after having risen by 77,000 in April. These two increases were the smallest in the past twelve months. The unemployment rate edged up to 8.2 percent in May from 8.1 percent in April.

Earlier in the week, revised data had shown that US economic growth slowed to a 1.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter, down from the 2.2 percent initial estimate and from 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter.

The latest economic data would have dented hopes of a rebound in the US economy in the second quarter.

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