Global PMI lifts higher on back of stronger service sector expansion
The pace of global economic growth picked up in February from a near two-and-a-half year low at the start of the year, but remained among the weakest since 2016. The JPMorgan Global PMI, compiled by IHS Markit, rose from 52.1 in January to 52.6. Despite the rise, the PMI still suggests the global economy could struggle to expand at a rate in excess of 2.0% in Q1 (measured at market prices), down from an estimated 2.3% in Q4 2018 and a peak of 2.9% at the end of 2017.
The slowdown was led by a near-stagnation of manufacturing output, in turn largely attributable to a further downturn in global trade. Worldwide exports fell for a sixth straight month, dropping at the steepest rate since May 2016. In contrast, service sector growth perked up to a three-month high, offsetting the manufacturing slowdown, buoyed by faster inflows of new business, suggesting domestic market demand remains encouragingly robust in many key economies.
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