India's factory slump deepens in May, headcount slides: PMI

India's factory slump deepens in May, headcount slides: PMI

India's factory slump deepens in May, headcount slides: PMI

US manufacturing activity eased off an 11-year low in May, the strongest sign yet that the worst of the economic downturn was behind as businesses reopen, though the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis could take years because of high unemployment.

Prithviraj Srinivas, an economist at Axis Capital, said the weak recovery in manufacturing highlights the challenges faced by firms due to uncertain exit from the lockdown.

Pockets of growth were generally linked to healthcare-related or personal protective equipment products as factories increased production to respond to the global health emergency.

The new coronavirus pandemic - which has killed more than 370,000 people around the world - has wreaked havoc with supply chains and quashed demand as government-imposed lockdowns forced businesses to close and citizens to stay home.

The International Monetary Fund said last month the global economy would take much longer than expected to recover fully from the virus shock, suggesting a downgrade to its current projection for a 3 per cent contraction this year.

A U.S. -China spat over Hong Kong's status and Beijing's handling of the pandemic could sour business sentiment and add to already huge strains on the global economy.

Stock markets around the world rose on Monday amid promising indicators of economic activity from other major nations, including figures revealing an unexpected return to growth for Chinese factory production in May after three months of contraction. The survey's measure of order backlogs at factories rose to 38.2 last month after plummeting to a reading of 37.8 in April. "This result is particularly poignant given the record contraction in April which was driven by widespread business closures".

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China's official manufacturing PMI, which is focused more on large, state-owned firms, edged down to 50.6 in May from 50.8 in April, dropping for a second straight month, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed Sunday.

Japan's factory activity shrank at the fastest pace since 2009 in May, a separate survey showed, while South Korean manufacturing slumped at the sharpest pace in more than a decade.

According to the latest figures, manufacturers continued to feel the impact from the coronavirus pandemic as the economy struggled to build momentum to escape the deepest recession in living memory.

"Industry is likely to have seen an initial jump from the easing of lockdown restrictions".

In April, UK vehicle production fell by nearly 100% to the lowest monthly output since World War II.

The figure, up from a record low of 32.6 in April, indicates that the rate of collapse within the sector is nonetheless slowing.

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