The rate of expansion in the global manufacturing sector eased to a five-month low in March, as companies reported slower growth of output, new orders and employment. The J.P.Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI posted 53.4 in March, down from 54.1 in February and its lowest reading since October 2017. The average level over the opening quarter as a whole (54.0) was nonetheless unchanged from the prior quarter.
March data signaled slower rates of expansion in both the consumer and intermediate goods sectors, with growth at three- and seven-month lows respectively. The Investment Goods PMI rose to its highest level in the year-so-far.