The global manufacturing sector entered the second quarter of 2008 on a weak footing. The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI posted 50.3, a figure indicative of only a negligible improvement in the overall economic health of the sector and its lowest reading since June 2003.
Measured worldwide, the level of manufacturing new orders dropped for the first time in almost five years. Marked reductions in new work received were posted for Japan, where new business fell at the fastest pace since January 2002, and in the US. New orders to Eurozone manufacturing companies declined for the first time since May 2005, and in the UK for the fourth successive month. Within the euro area, only Germany and Greece reported increases in new work received. Where growth of new business was recorded elsewhere, this was mainly centred on the BRIC — Brazil, Russia, India and China — economies.