ECONOMY

Manufacturing expands globally; Greece follows

LONDON (Reuters) – A new global indicator based on national surveys of manufacturers showed the sector growing at its strongest pace since June 2002, JPMorgan said. The indicator, produced by JPMorgan with research and supply management organizations, rose to 52.3 in September from 52.0 in August, moving further above the 50 line that divides growth from contraction. It combines survey data from countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, France and Britain. «The global PMI is signaling a sharp acceleration in manufacturing activity,» said David Hensley at JPMorgan. «The strength of production and new orders is particularly impressive.» The indicator, based on responses from around 7,000 companies worldwide, strengthened despite yesterday’s fall in the US manufacturing index to 53.7 from 54.7. In the global survey, the output index slid to 54.6 from 55.3 in August but new orders rose to 56.3 from 54.8. The employment index was a touch weaker at 47.5 from 47.6 in August, showing continuing job cuts. Input prices rose above the 50 line to 51.3, showing the first increase in average raw materials prices in three months. The indicator also draws on survey data from Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, South Africa, Poland, Greece, Ireland, Singapore, Israel, the Czech Republic and Hungary, to cover an estimated 76 percent of global manufacturing output. In Greece, the survey showed the manufacturing sector’s expansion continuing for the fifth consecutive month but at a slower pace. The Greek Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 51.4 in September from 52.3 in August. In the whole of the euro area, Reuters Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.1 from 49.1 in August, above market expectations, raising hopes for a return to growth in the region’s manufacturing sector. Both manufacturing output and order books showed solid expansion, but at a less marked rate than in August, the survey showed. Stocks of finished goods fell, albeit at a slower pace as the index rose to 47.3 from August’s 44.9.