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3 Sep 2018
Eurozone: August Final IHS Markit Manufacturing PMIs: The final IHS Markit PMI for the Euro area manufacturing sector remained unchanged compared to the flash reading released on 23 August at 54.6, but down from July’s 55.1 reading. This is the lowest print since November 2016, and 6 points below December 2017’s record high. The July/August average stands at 54.9, 0.6 points below the 2Q18 average, suggesting a weak momentum by the manufacturing sector of the region.
There was a significant divergence between the strongest and weakest performing manufacturing sectors at the country level. The details of the survey showed the new orders sub-index for the region at the lowest level for two years, while the new export orders sub-index remained flat at July’s near two year low. On the price front, input cost pressures slowed to a three-month low. Output price inflation remained historically marked, albeit it reached in August the lowest reading for a year. Business optimism was lower than in July, reflecting global trade tensions and the possibility of further tariff impositions.
Spain: The IHS Markit manufacturing PMI edged slightly up by 0.1 points to 53.0 in August, above market expectations (52.5). The July/August average stands at 53.0, compared to 53.7 in 2Q18 and 54.5 in 1H18. The PMI remains well below the readings seen around the turn of the year. The press release disclosed by IHS Markit showed that output and new orders posted slight increases on the month (for the second month in a row for production). The new export orders sub-index eased to a two-year low. However, confidence regarding the 12-month outlook recorded a marked reduction. Regarding prices, manufacturers lowered their output prices for the first time since September 2016, while the rate of inflation for input costs remained above the series average but eased to a 14-month low. Confidence regarding the 12-month outlook fell to the lowest level since June 2013, reflecting concerns about the future path of customer demand.
Italy: The IHS Markit manufacturing PMI index fell by 1.4 points to 50.1 in August (vs. consensus 51.2), the lowest reading in two years. The July/August average stands at 50.8, well below the monthly average seen in 2Q18 (53.2), suggesting a weaker momentum in the Italian manufacturing sector in 3Q18. The details of the survey were also weak. New orders fell for the first time in two years. The production sub-index recorded a slight decline, on the back of poor domestic demand, while the employment sub-index fell to the lowest level since September 2016. The new export orders sub-index remained in expansion territory, although August reading was the weakest in the current 68-month sequence of expansion. Soft market conditions limited pass through to customers of cost pressures. Input price inflation remained elevated, despite easing to a three-month low. Output prices continue to rise at a modest and noticeably slower rate (and the weakest in over a year). Expectations hit the lowest level recorded since May 2013, reflecting concerns over future global trading conditions, namely in relation to the US.
France/Germany: In France, the flash reading was revised downwardly by 0.2 points to 53.5. This puts the final reading 0.2 points above the July print. In Germany, the flash reading was also revised lower by 0.2 points to 55.9. Therefore, the final reading for August shows a 1-point decline compared to July.
Other countries: The IHS Markit Manufacturing index fell by 0.4 points in Austria to 56.4. However, Greece (+0.4 points to 53.9), The Netherlands (+1.1 points to 59.1) and Ireland (+1.2 points to 57.5) all posted improvements in August.
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