Markit issued manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) numbers for June for France, Italy and Spain. The figures painted a picture of a region still in recession with some modest improvements in pockets.
Markit reported on France:
Latest data signalled an easing of the downturn in the French manufacturing sector during June. The headline Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — a seasonally adjusted index designed to measure the performance of the manufacturing economy registered 48.4, up from 46.4 in May. Although remaining below the 50.0 mark for a sixteenth consecutive month, the latest index reading was the highest in this sequence.
Markit reported on Italy:
The seasonally adjusted Markit/ADACI Italy Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from 47.3 in May to a 23-month high of 49.1 in June.
The seasonally adjusted Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — a composite indicator designed to measure the performance of the manufacturing economy — posted 50.0 in June, signalling no change in business conditions during the month.
The Spain number has to be considered a surprise, based on the level of the recession there. Unemployment has hovered around 25%, and closer to 50% among the nation’s young.
The Markit data is more support for some level of stimulus spending, led by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, in contrast to more than a year of austerity forced on most of the debt-laden nations. There is almost no evidence that this course has worked as a method to turn these weak economies around.