US manufacturing ended its contraction in September, according to a report from the Institute for Supply Management on Monday. The latter's manufacturing PMI rose to 51.5 last month from 49.6 in August. It was the first time since May that the PMI has been above 50.
Another index of US manufacturing released on Monday also pointed to expansion. Markit's manufacturing PMI fell to 51.1 in September from 51.5 in August. The September reading, however, was the lowest in three years.
Another report from the US on Monday showed that construction spending fell 0.6 percent in August, the largest drop since July last year.
In the euro area, the manufacturing contraction eased a little in September as Markit's manufacturing PMI rose to 46.1 from 45.1 in August.
Despite the improvement, Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist, said in his report on Monday that it “seems inevitable that the region will have fallen back into a new recession in the third quarter”.
Further evidence of recessionary conditions in the euro area was another report on Monday showing that unemployment in the euro area hit 11.4 percent in August, the same as in June and July after those months’ figures were revised higher. That is the highest unemployment rate since the data series started in 1995.
Elsewhere in Europe, the UK's economic reports on Monday were mostly negative. Manufacturing shrank again in September with the CIPS/Markit PMI falling to 48.4 from 49.6 in August. Mortgage lending dropped by 276 million pounds last month, the sharpest decline since December 2010.
Chinese manufacturing did improve in September but remained in contraction. The manufacturing PMI from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and the National Bureau of Statistics rose to 49.8 in September from 49.2 in August.
Finally, the Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan survey found sentiment among large manufacturers fell to minus three in September from minus one in June, increasing fears that the economy may be entering a recession.