Global PMI edges higher as service sector growth acceleratesThe JPMorgan Global All-Industry Output Index rose to 53.5 in March, up from February's four-month low of 53.1.
The global economy continued to make steady progress in March, with output rising for the eighteenth successive month. A slight acceleration in the rate of expansion kept the average for the opening quarter as a whole broadly in line with those posted in the latter two quarters of 2013, said the J.P.Morgan Global Manufacturing & Services PMI produced by JPMorgan and Markit in association with ISM and IFPSM.
Output growth rates were similar in the manufacturing and service sectors during March. While this represented a slight acceleration in the rate of expansion for services activity, the pace of increase in manufacturing production was the slowest since last October.
National data pointed to further broad-based expansion of business activity. Rates of output growth in the US and Japan both accelerated slightly after slowing in the previous month. The recovery in the eurozone remained solid, with growth improving in Spain and Ireland, but easing in Germany and Italy. France returned to expansion following contractions in the prior four months.
The upturn in the UK economy remained marked - despite cooling further from last October's high - but growth in Brazil remained only moderate. Meanwhile, China, Russia and India all reported lower output.
The rate of expansion in incoming new business eased to a nine-month low in March, raising the possibility of a moderation in output growth at the start of the second quarter. Growth of new orders slowed at both manufacturers and service providers.
Continued expansion of business activity encouraged further job creation during March, as employment rose for the forty-ninth successive month. The rate of jobs growth ticked up to its highest since August 2011 at manufacturers, but slowed to a seven-month low at service providers. Employment rose in the US, Japan, China, Germany, the UK, India, Brazil and Ireland.
Price pressures moderated in March. Input cost inflation dipped to a nine-month low, while average selling prices increased at the weakest pace since July last year.
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