Global trade disputes and potential for Brexit- related disruptions continue to affect exporters.
April data signaled further global declines in new export orders in the composite index of manufacturing and service-providing sectors, taking the current trend of flat of declining orders to eight months and holding at the lowest level in three years, according to the J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing Index.
Despite significant upside surprises in the latest GDP releases in the U.S. and China, the headline global index decreased to 52.1, the same reading as January, and the slowest pace of growth since September 2016.
The global manufacturing output index, reported on May 2, declined two tenths of a point.
“International trade flows remain a significant drag on the manufacturing sector,” said David Hensley, Director of Global Economic Coordination at J.P. Morgan. “New export business has now decreased for eighth successive months.”
Input prices continued to fall last month, easing four points since last fall, to a 32-month low. Meanwhile, the rate of increase in prices factories are charging fell to a two-and-a- half-year low.
The global outlook was subdued in April. Business optimism dipped further to the second-weakest point since data on sentiment were first compiled in July 2012.
The global firm purchasing index is compiled by IHS Markit and based on the results of surveys covering tens of thousands of purchasing executives in dozens of countries.
These countries represent about 98 percent of global gross domestic production.