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This morning we have fresh manufacturing data out of the US, China, Europe, and the UK. Let’s see how the players stack up:

US: ISM Manufacturing Index

The Institute for Supply Management said the manufacturing sector expanded for the 14th consecutive month, yet at a slower pace (54.4 in September versus 56.4 in August):

While the headline number shows relative strength this month as the PMI reading of 54.4 percent is still quite positive, the overall picture is less encouraging. The growth of new orders continued to slow, as the index is down significantly from its cyclical high of 65.9 percent (January 2010). Production is currently growing at a faster rate than new orders, but it typically lags and would be expected to weaken further in the fourth quarter. Manufacturing has enjoyed a stronger recovery than other sectors of the economy, but it appears that weaker growth is the expectation for the fourth quarter. Both the Inventories and Backlog of Orders Indexes are sending strong negative signals of weakening performance in the sector.

China: Purchasing Managers Index

Yesterday, the Chicago PMI came in better-than-expected. Today China’s PMI also showed an acceleration in manufacturing (53.8 in September versus 51.7 in August). Looks like China is still doing what it does best.

It begs the question, Is China (NYSEARCA:FXI) Building the New-and-Improved Global Empire?

Europe: 16 Country Manufacturing PMI

Unlike China, the European manufacturing sector is slowing (53.7 in September versus 55.1 in August). European manufacturing engine Germany led the index down (55.1 versus 55.3) followed by Italy (52.6 versus 52.8), Spain (49.6 versus 51.2), UK (53.4 versus 53.7), Ireland (48.4 versus 51.1), Switzerland (59.7 versus 61.4), Denmark (50.6 versus 53.5), Hungary (50.2 versus 51.9), Russia (51.2 versus 52.9), and Turkey (50.3versus 51.3).

Notable winners were France (56 versus 55.4), Sweden (63.3 versus 60.6), Norway (52.8 versus 49.2), Poland (54.7 versus 53.8), and the Czech Republic (58 versus 57.3).

Disclosure: No position

Source: How U.S. ISM Manufacturing Index Stacks Up Against China, Europe, and U.K.