by Jeffrey P. Snider
While Markit’s economic sentiment surveys had been perhaps a touch more optimistic about the state of the world than others or other data, May has been a rough month for that comparison. Again, it’s not the absolute number calculated for each survey but rather the relative direction and, in these cases, the uniformity of that direction or pattern.
PMI data point to Japan’s all-important manufacturing economy suffering its steepest downturn since late 2012. The Nikkei Flash Japan Manufacturing PMI fell from 48.2 in April to 47.6 in May, its lowest since December 2012.