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Global factory output mixed

GLOBAL manufacturing data yesterday revealed a mixed set of results with US and UK surveys indicating a slowdown in the pace of growth in November, while the eurozone saw output accelerate and China continued to expand industrial output at an astonishing pace.<br /><br />In Britain, the CIPS/Markit purchasing managers&rsquo; index (PMI) came in at 51.8 compared to 53.4 in October. Although above the 50 mark that indicates growth, this was disappointing since new orders showed sharply weaker growth in November, falling from 58 in October to 53 last month.<br /><br />Richard McGuire at RBC Capital Markets said: &ldquo;Going forward, we expect this survey to remain caught between the contrasting fortunes of the domestic and external sectors, with the limited investment appetite hampering the former owing to an uncertain outlook for demand at home, an ongoing lending drought and a yawning output gap.&rdquo;<br /><br />And the US ISM manufacturing survey slowed to post growth of 53.6 last month, down from 55.7 in October. The deceleration was not seen as a disaster by analysts and the index is still consistent with fairly decent GDP growth of around 3.5 per cent per year, says Capital Economics&rsquo; Paul Dales.<br /><br />In contrast, the eurozone manufacturing PMI was stronger than the preliminary estimate at 51.2. This consolidated the recovery in the region&rsquo;s manufacturing sector. Growth was driven mainly by Germany and France, while Spain and Greece continued to see contracting factory output.<br /><br />And in China, the Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its PMI was 52 in November, unchanged from October and the ninth month it has been above the crucial 50 mark.