After recovering slightly in January, rates of expansion of global manufacturing production and new orders slipped back to their lowest for over four-and-a-half years in February. Measured overall, conditions in the sector remained subdued. The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI* posted 51.1. This was its lowest reading since July 2003 — the first month of its current sequence above the 50.0 no-change mark.
The ISM US PMI fell to a sub-50.0 level for the second time in the past three months in February. PMIs for the Eurozone, Japan and China all pointed to improvements in operating conditions, but their respective levels were lower than one month ago. The main factor leading the Eurozone PMI lower was a sharp decline in the health of the Spanish manufacturing sector, where conditions deteriorated to the greatest extent since December 2001.