US PMI mostly solid

Apart from the Supplier Deliveries component, all parts of the ISM Business Survey Index show expansion in the US for March, reports Richmond Fed.

Compared sequentially, however, some sluggishness is apparent particularly in the non manufacturing.

For example, inventories rose but backlog orders shrunk 3.5 index points on non-manufacturing and rose marginal 0.5 on manufacturing.

As oppose to the US data, these PMI numbers were blamed for the demise in many stocks. While Europe’s unexpected 47.9 PMI read versus 49.3 expected took the markets by surprise today, the shrinking below-50 index number out of China is actually seen as a positive by some.

At 49.1 for April, HSBC China Purchasing Managers Index is actually better then the 48.3 for March suggesting that the rate of decline there may have stopped.

As for Europe, they may have some hard days ahead with Germany, particularly the German Bundesbank chief, Jens Weidmann, described as having intentions “to bring about a definitive and dramatic crisis as soon as possible.”