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ChartBrief #28 Global Flash PMI

The October round of flash manufacturing PMIs have just been released, and they were all stronger than last month and stronger than expected: US 53.2 (51.6 expected, 51.5 previous), Europe 53.3 (52.7 E, 52.6 P), and Japan 51.7 (50.6 E 50.4 P). This now puts the global "flash" PMI on a clear improving trend (the global flash PMI in the graph below uses a weighted average of the Markit US/EU/Japan flash manufacturing PMIs).

As flagged in the September Global PMI Update the global economy seems to be picking up after a period of stagnation. This stabilization, and now improvement, was also confirmed in the earlier released October round of SMIs (Sales Managers Index). The only "but" comes for the China surveys, while we lost the Caixin flash manufacturing PMI, we still have the MNI China Business Sentiment survey, which fell in October to 52.2 from 55.8 (but remains well off the lows earlier this year) - the China SMI was also down, but only by -0.1 to 51.2. But given the solid results out of these major developed economies, it's fair to say the outlook for the global economy is starting to look much better. All that's left now is to check in on the emerging economies's PMIs at the end of the month; which have also been improving. In terms of investment implications, it's important to see an end to the deceleration that started in 2013 for the sake of corporate earnings, so at the margin it's equity positive, but bond bearish as it basically justifies the recent move upwards in bond yields.

Bottom Line: The October round of flash manufacturing PMIs flag an improving outlook for the global economy which should be bullish equities at the margin, and bearish bonds.

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