"The PMI registered 49.8 percent, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from June's reading of 49.7 percent, indicating contraction in the manufacturing sector for the second consecutive month, following 34 consecutive months of expansion. The New Orders Index registered 48 percent, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from June and indicating contraction in new orders for the second consecutive month, but at a slightly slower rate. Both the Production Index and the Employment Index remained in growth territory, registering 51.3 percent and 52 percent, respectively. The Prices Index for raw materials registered 39.5 percent, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the June reading of 37 percent, indicating lower prices on average for the third consecutive month.
U.S. and euro zone factory activity slumped again in July while Chinese manufacturing hit an eight-month low, surveys showed on Wednesday, as economies worldwide showed signs of slowing.
Economic malaise was worst in the 17-country euro zone, where output plummeted and the manufacturing sector contracted for an 11th straight month as a downturn that began in smaller countries continued to spread into core euro area economies.
The slump worsened in Italy, Spain and Greece as well as the region's two biggest economies -- Germany and France.
Europe's economic woes also depressed export orders in China and India, where manufacturing had appeared to be holding up despite the euro zone debt crisis and slowing U.S. growth.
U.S. manufacturing, meanwhile, contracted for a second consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management's index of national factory activity.
A separate report from Markit showed activity barely expanding and at its slowest pace in almost three years, partly due to lower European demand for U.S. products.
"The manufacturing numbers are pretty dismal. There's really no good way to read them," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. "I think they bolster the case for more Federal Reserve action, and globally the argument is pretty much the same."
Would Another Round of QE Help?
Everyone is looking for the Fed to do something.
I have to ask what good could it possibly do? Yield on the 10-year treasury is about 1.5%. Would it make any difference to businesses if it was 1.25% or even 1%?
I suggest additional monetary stimulus would not do anything to spur job creation and it would continue to punish those on fixed incomes.
An additional round of QE could ignite a further rally in equities (already in bubble land). However, one of these QE moves by the Fed will blow sky high, and with equities priced beyond perfection, the next round of QE may be the one.
This is what I said earlier today "Given the global collapse in new orders including the US, weak ISM numbers in the US, and generally bad regional manufacturing reports, I believe there is potential for a really awful jobs report either this month or next and I will go for this month."
I certainly see no reason to change that call.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
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