Manufacturing data and energy dominate macroeconomic activity

April 5, 2023

2 mins read

Manufacturing

US manufacturing, as at end of March, is in the fifth consecutive month of contraction territory, with the PMI manufacturing index [Mintec Code: PP23] declining to 46.3, down from 47.7 in February, to sit at the lowest level since May 2020. The decrease was chiefly due to a drop in new orders and a notable decline in employment.

In China, the manufacturing PMI [Mintec Code: PP12] fell to 50.0, down from 51.6 in February. Like the US, new orders rose at a slower rate, with international demand reportedly quiet. Furthermore, employment fell as firms sought to lower running costs. While market players are still optimistic about China’s growth prospects in the long term, this PMI number is an indication that the country’s emergence from strict COVID lockdowns is bumpier than anticipated.

Manufacturing in the Eurozone came in at 53.7 in March, up from 52.0 in February, the highest level since May 2022. Growth in the service sector was a key driver of the rise in the Eurozone PMI [Mintec Code: PP02]. However, Germany and France trailed other countries, such as Spain. Strike action in the Eurozone’s two biggest economies was a major factor behind slower growth.

Energy

The Brent crude oil price sits at $84.94, as at the close on 4th April, up 8% week-on-week (w-o-w) due to a surprise voluntary output cut by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on 2nd April. OPEC cuts have been a bullish driver over recent months, with the latest announcement triggering fears among market players that the rising oil price could result in further increased overall inflation. Indeed, participants now converge on a 25 basis point (bp) rate hike by the Federal Reserve in May, shifting from a previous rate pause consensus.

Look out for our monthly Macroeconomic Insight on Mintec Analytics, published in the third week of the month.

Andrew Woods
Andrew Woods

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