The global measure rises back above 50 but mainly because of the U.S.
Conditions in the global manufacturing sector improved for the first time in four months in December. At 50.8, up from 49.7 in November, the JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI™ rose to a level consistent with a modest expansion and posted its highest reading since June. However, the average PMI reading over Q4 2011 as a whole (50.2) was unchanged from the previous quarter’s near two and- a-half year low.
December saw manufacturing output increase for the first time in five months, as levels of incoming new orders held steady following a four-month sequence of contraction. International trade also showed signs of stabilisation. New export orders fell for the fifth month running, but only marginally and to the weakest extent during that period. Subsequently, with overall demand still relatively subdued,
manufacturers depleted backlogs of work further to sustain production volumes.
The US was the principal driver of the expansion seen in December. US production growth accelerated sharply to hit an eight-month high, and new orders rose at the quickest pace since April. Outside of the US, manufacturing output and new orders declined (on average) for the fourth and fifth successive months respectively.
Global manufacturing employment increased for the twenty fifth consecutive month in December, with the pace of jobs growth the quickest since July. Staffing levels were raised in the US, Japan, Germany, France, Austria, Canada, Russia, India, Taiwan, Ireland and Turkey.
Average input prices fell for the second month in a row, mainly reflecting reductions in the US and China. Input prices also fell slightly in the European Union. There were, however, pockets of high cost inflation, particularly in Eastern Europe, Japan, Ireland, India and Turkey.
December saw holdings of raw materials depleted for the sixth month running and to the greatest extent in two years. Stock levels fell in all nations except India and Turkey.