Flash estimates of manufacturing PMIs released on Thursday showed clear signs of improvement for the sector.
In China, HSBC's manufacturing PMI rose to 51.9 in January, the highest in 24 months, from 51.5 in December.
In the euro area, Markit's manufacturing PMI rose to 47.5 in January from 46.1 in December. With the services PMI also rising to 48.3 from 47.8, the composite PMI rose to 48.2 in January from 47.2 in December.
In the US, Markit's manufacturing PMI jumped to 56.1 in January from 54.0 in December. In other signs of improvement in the economy, initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 to 330,000 last week, the lowest since January 2008, and the Conference Board's leading economic index rose 0.5 percent to 93.9 in December.
There has been no joy in Japan though. On Thursday, it reported that exports fell 5.8 percent in the year to December while imports rose 1.9 percent, leaving it with a record trade deficit of 6.93 trillion yen for 2012. Today, it reported that consumer prices excluding fresh food fell 0.2 percent in December from a year earlier.