Parade of the PMIs

June 1, 2015

Around 25 purchasing manager surveys, almost all covering the manufacturing sector, have already been reported today.  German state CPI figures and an estimate of Japanese business investment last quarter were also released.

Still no compromise between Greece and its creditors involving reforms for aid has been reached.   Greece needs to make a payment to the IMF this coming Friday.

New Zealand was closed for the Queen’s Birthday holiday.

The dollar has appreciated 0.7% and 0.4% against the New Zealand and British currencies.  The greenback has edged down 0.2% against the euro and 0.1% vis-a-vis the yen, Swiss franc and Aussie dollar.  The loonie is flat.

Chinese share prices shot up 4.9% on weak PMI news.  The HSBC manufacturing PMI in May of 49.2 printed below the 50 no change line for a second straight month and included the sharpest contraction of export orders in around two years.  The output component contracted for the first time in 2015.  The government’s factory purchasing managers index was at a 6-month high but signaled little forward momentum with a reading of 50.2.  The non-manufacturing PMI compiled by the government of 53.2 was 0.2 points lower than in April and at its weakest level of 2015.

Share prices in other Pacific Rim markets fell by 0.8% in Taiwan and Singapore, 0.7% in Australia, 0.6% in South Korea and 0.1% in Indonesia.  Japan’s Nikkei closed unchanged.  European markets have fallen by 1.4% in Greece, 0.3% in Italy, 0.2% in the U.K. and Germany and 0.1% in Spain.

The ten-year British gilt yield firmed two basis points, but ten-year German bunds and Japanese JGBs are unchanged.

West Texas Intermediate oil prices fell 1.2% to $59.56 after closing May above $60.  Comex gold dropped 0.4% to $1,185.30 per ounce.

Inflation in May accelerated in the German states of North Rhine Westphalia, Brandenburg, Hesse, Saxony and Bavaria.  Based on such, the preliminary German national CPI is estimated to have risen 0.1% on month and accelerated to 0.7% on year.

Japanese capital spending leaped 7.3% last quarter, much more than had been assumed in the preliminary GDP data.  Japanese motor vehicle sales were 1.4% greater than a year earlier in May.  That rise was less than a third as much as in April.

Japan’s manufacturing purchasing managers index printed at a 3-month high of 50.9, matching the preliminary indication for May.  But export orders were at an 1-month low, and input price inflation was the lowest in over two years.

Euroland’s manufacturing PMI scored a 52.2 in May, down from a flash reading of 52.3 and similar to 52.0 in April and 52.2 in March.  The improvement in manufacturing conditions was blunted by a weak core that saw the German index drop to a three-month low of 51.1 and the French reading still below 50, implying a continuing downturn albeit the slowest rate of decline since May 2014. 

There was good news within the eurozone, however, from Spain’s 97-month high of 55.8, Italy’s 49-month high of 54.8, a 9-month high in Austria of 50.3, and a 17-month peak of 55.5 in The Netherlands.  All eurozone PMI surveys reflected accelerating cost inflation.

Sweden’s factory PMI slid 0.9 points to a 2-month low of 54.8.  The Norwegian PMI slumped 3.9 points to 46.6.

The British manufacturing PMI of 52.0 was only 0.1 points above April’s reading and lower than analysts were predicting.

The Swiss PMI of 49.4 was below 50 for a fifth straight time but by the smallest margin in that run and 1.5 points above April’s score.  Deflation seems to be lessening.

The Czech PMI of 55.5 constituted the fastest expansion since November.  Hungary’s index rebounded 3.9 points to a 2-month high of 55.1.  Poland’s 52.4 PMI score in May was at a 7-month low, in contrast. 

Russia’s manufacturing PMI fell 1.3 points to a 4-month low of 47.6 and was the sixth consecutive sub-50 monthly reading.

Australia produced one of the biggest positive surprises, jumping from a 4th straight sub-50 score in April (48.0) to 52.3 in May, its best result since October 2013.

South Korea’s 47.8 reading was a 21-month low and a full point lower than in April.

Taiwan’s PMI edged up 0.1 to a 2-month high of 49.3, but orders fell more sharply than in April.

The Vietnamese PMI increased 1.1 points to 54.8, the best in this series going back to April 2011.

Indonesia’s PMI improved to a 3-month high of 47.1.  Consumer price inflation in Indonesia picked up to 7.15% this month from 6.79% in April.

Turkey’s PMI edged above the 50 no change level for the first time since December but essentially conveyed stagnation at 50.1.

India’s 52.6 was the best reading in four months, but inflation remains subdued by historical standards.

The Australian trade surplus narrowed about 25% on month in May to A$ 6.3 billion.  Building permits sank 4.4% on month, most in 7 months.  Expected Aussie inflation remained steady last month at 1.4%.

Swedish retail sales slipped 0.2% on month in April but were 3.3% higher than a year earlier.

U.S. personal consumption expenditures were unchanged in April.  The core PCE price deflator edged up 0.1% on month, less than expected, trimming the 12-month rate of increase to just 1.2% from 1.3% in April.  Personal income rose 0.4% in April.

Still to come: U.S. manufacturing PMI.

Copyright 2015, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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