The global economy started 2014 on a disjointed note with the euro zone’s private sector in better shape than expected and China’s vast manufacturing industry contracting for the first time in six months.
Surveys on Thursday showed stronger growth across the now 18-member euro zone was marred only by an ongoing contraction in France, although the pace of that slowed. Apart from that, the upturn appeared broad-based with decent growth in both the services and manufacturing industries. But in the first indication of sentiment for the new year in China’s 56.9 trillion yuan ($9.4 trillion) economy factories were hit by weaker domestic and export demand. China’s Flash Markit/HSBC PMI fell to 49.6 in January from December’s 50.5, showing a faster rate of decrease in new export orders and employment.
Markit’s Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gauges business activity across thousands of companies and is seen as a good guide to economic health, jumped to 53.2 in January from 52.1 last month.