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Global Factory Output Growth Close To Decade High Despite Export Fall From China

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  • Global manufacturing PMI buoyed by further strong gains in production.
  • Robust growth seen in the US, Eurozone, India and Brazil despite supply chain delays close to record high.
  • Expansion limited by further slowdown in China, in turn linked to shipping and logistics problems.
  • UK close to stalling amid Brexit disruptions.

Global manufacturing output growth accelerated in February to reach one of the fastest rates of expansion seen over the past decade. The improvement occurred despite near-record shortages of inputs, in turn linked to a second successive month of sharply falling exports from mainland China. Deteriorating exports from China were in part due to shortages of shipping capacity, which should prove temporary, meaning China should start to act as less of a drag on the global economy once these logistics issues, mainly stemming from COVID-19 related disruptions to transportation, are resolved.

While China's exporters struggled, other economies, notably the US, Eurozone, India and Brazil continue to report strong manufacturing gains, though the UK has become something of an outlier as Brexit-related issues led to a near-stalling of production growth for a second month running.

Production rises for eighth straight month in February

The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI, compiled by IHS Markit from its proprietary business surveys, showed worldwide factory output growing for an eighth successive month in February. The output index rose from 54.1 in January to 54.2, indicating that the rate of increase picked up marginally to one of the highest seen over the past decade, albeit down from the peaks seen at the end of last year. Official data, available up to December, have meanwhile shown manufacturing output regain levels of a year ago, underscoring the sector's swift recovery from the COVID-19 related downturn in the first half of 2020.

Of the world's major economies, the strongest expansion was recorded in India, followed by Germany. Along with robust gains in Italy and the Netherlands, Germany's strong expansion helped propel eurozone growth to the fastest since October and the second-fastest for three years.

The US nevertheless again outperformed the eurozone as a whole in February, despite seeing growth moderate slightly from

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IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

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