Despite slowing growth in China, manufacturing activity is increasing globally at its fastest pace in nearly three years.
The Financial Times reports that the global PMI from JPMorgan and Markit was 53.3 for December, up from 53,1 in November. This is the strongest result since April 2011.
The United States, Germany and Japan are all in expansion, and, as Reuters notes, Markit PMI results are showed an overall score of 52.7 for December, indicating expansion at the fastest pace since mid-2011.
China finished the year expanding slowly by its recent standards, with its Purchasing Managers’ Index scoring 51 in December (down from 51.4 the previous month). This is a three-month low.
The United States, undergoing what has been called a “manufacturing renaissance” assisted by the boom in shale gas, grew at its quickest pace in 11 months in the Markit PMI results. Other surveys, such as the Institute for Supply Management’s PMI, also show robust growth.
"We have had a whole string of strong ISM numbers. This is a gauge of sentiment and sentiment is improving," economist Scott Brown from Raymond James said in comments reported by Reuters.
"Europe has turned the corner. It's not contracting at least. The emerging markets are doing better.”
Australia, however, finished 2013 with two consecutive months of contraction in the Australian Industry Group’s Purchasing Managers Index, seeing no boost from the weakening Australian dollar and low inrterest rates.