Woes Inc! Euro zone, US, China wilt
Thursday’s purchasing managers indexes (PMIs), which survey thousands of companies worldwide every month, also showed Chinese factory activity wilted for an 11th month in September, as Europe’s troubles continued to hit Asian exporters.
That looks unlikely to improve soon.
While the downturn in Europe’s largest economy, Germany, eased by a surprising amount this month, French firms fell deeper into the mire in September — and at a far faster rate than expected.
A good indicator of economic performance, the composite euro zone PMI fell to 45.9 in September from 46.3 in August.
Below 50 denotes contraction and survey compiler Markit said the surveys were consistent with a roughly 0.6 per cent economic contraction in the third quarter.
The euro zone services PMI fell to 46.0 in September from 47.2 in August, below even the most pessimistic forecast of 46.5 in a Reuters poll of nearly 40 economists. France represented by far the biggest disappointment of Thursday’s PMIs, as both its manufacturing and services PMIs fell beneath the lowest forecasts from 20 economists.
The huge economic uncertainty in Europe has had a pronounced impact on export-reliant economies like China, where manufacturing contracted again in September. The China manufacturing PMI inched up in September to 47.8 from August’s nine-month low of 47.6.
Meanwhile, US manufacturing closed out its weakest quarter in three years this month
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