Japan Services PMI Shows Sharp Decline in New Orders; Global New Export Orders Have Steepest Drop Since April 2009.

Courtesy of Mish.

The global economy continues to weaken, but not in a straight line as China rebounded somewhat, with Japan deteriorating further.

HSBC China Services PMI™ rebounded with the first increase in manufacturing in five months.

July’s survey findings showed business activity (covering manufacturing and services) in China rising at the join-fastest rate in nine months. This was signalled by the HSBC Composite Output Index posting 51.9, up from 50.6 in June. Overall growth reflected an increase in manufacturing production – the first in five months – and a stronger expansion of service sector output. The latter was highlighted by a rise in the HSBC Business Activity Index from 52.3 to 53.1.

Behind the latest rise in service sector activity was a sustained increase in new order volumes. However, the rate of new business growth remained below-trend. This, coupled with a slower rate of decline in new orders placed at goods producers, meant that overall new business rose marginally in July.

Sub-par new order growth meant that capacity was little tested in China’s service sector, with backlogs of work falling for a sixth month in a row. A marginal rise in work-in-hand (but not yet completed) at goods producers was recorded by July’s manufacturing survey.

Jobs growth in China’s service sector also remained below trend in July, despite picking up from the month before. In contrast, the index measuring trends in manufacturing employment fell to a 40-month low, signalling a moderate rate of job shedding.

Commenting on the China Services and Composite PMI™ data, Hongbin Qu, Chief Economist, China & Co-Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC said:

“The modest gain in July’s HSBC services and manufacturing PMIs implies that the slowdown of the Chinese economy is likely to have stabilized. That said, the pace of expansion suggested by the composite PMI remained only modest and is not sufficient to warrant a meaningful recovery. To secure growth and employment, Beijing still needs to step up policy easing and fast falling inflation allows them to do so.”

Japan Services PMI™

Markit reports Japan Composite data show sharpest decline in business activity since September 2011

Key points:

Moderate declines in activity across both manufacturing and services
Total new orders fall for first time in six months
Service sector optimism the second-highest in 37 months

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