Eurozone and BRICs suffer in worldwide manufacturing dive

Ben Southwood
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EUROZONE manufacturing plummeted in July, down to a 37-month low, based on poor results in all key countries but Ireland, said Markit in its prominent business survey (PMI) yesterday.

Eurozone manufacturing PMI hit 44 – a score of 50 indicates no change – as even Germany and Austria were hit by the unresolved troubles in the currency union.

Austria hit a three-year low at 47.4, while Germany, collapsed to 43.0, indicating that the area’s manufacturing powerhouse actually declined quicker than the Eurozone as a whole.

Greece and Spain, though seeing slight reductions in the pace of their decline, and reaching short-term highs, were nevertheless stuck at the bottom of the euro area, both seeing scores close to 42 that show yet further industrial contraction.

“The Eurozone manufacturing sector’s woes intensified again in July,” said Chris Williamson at Markit, “Output fell at the fastest rate since mid-2009, consistent with the official measure of production falling at a quarterly rate in excess of one per cent.”

Ireland was the only Eurozone country to see growth, with PMI climbing to a 15-month high of 53.9.

July also heralded poor manufacturing sector conditions for the BRICs, according to business survey data (PMI) released by HSBC and Markit. China and Brazil both shrunk, albeit at marginally slower rates than before, whereas India saw a big dip in its growth, and Russia grew slightly quicker, but somewhat below trend.