Global manufacturing shrank for a sixth straight month in October as new export orders extended their longest downturn since 2002. At the same time, output and orders firmed in a sign factory activity is stabilizing.
The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing Index stood at 49.8 after the prior month’s 49.7 -- the third consecutive monthly improvement after bottoming in July. The new orders gauge reached a neutral point after shrinking the previous five months.
The production index edged up to a six-month high, albeit barely above the reading of 50 that is the dividing line between growth and contraction. In June and July, it stood at an almost seven-year low.
Still, sluggish global demand and the effects of tariffs are limiting trade. The measure of export orders remained in contraction territory for a 14th straight month.
The global purchasing managers’ index is compiled by IHS Markit and based on the results of surveys of more than 13,500 executives in over 40 countries that represent about 98 percent of global manufacturing value added.