Conditions in the global manufacturing sector remained relatively weak in May. Although the JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI posted above the critical no-change mark of 50.0 for the fifty-ninth successive month, at 50.4, it stayed at a level indicative of only negligible improvement in the overall health of the sector.
Manufacturers experienced further marked upward pressures on average purchasing costs in May, with the rate of input price inflation hitting a survey record high. The main factors underlying the latest increase in costs were rising oil, energy, fuel and food product prices. The high cost of oil also fed through to increased transportation costs and hikes in the prices for a number of oil by-products. All of the PMI surveys for which May data were available reported sharp increases in purchasing costs, led by South Africa and the US - with the rate of inflation in the US hitting a four-year high. The Global Manufacturing Input Prices Index posted 76.3.