As the first day of the second quarter in 2013 kicks off, investors are paying attention to U.S. manufacturing data to provide another snapshot about the health of the U.S. economy after U.S. equities have jumped 10 percent in the first quarter with the S&P only .4 percent away from its all-time high.
The latest manufacturing numbers released today for the month of March shows a small monthly decline in manufacturing.
The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) showed a decline to 51.3 from 54.2 in February. A reading above 50 signals economic expansion.
In February the PMI registered at 54.2 percent, representing an increase of 1.1 percentage from January’s reading of 53.1 percent and marking the highest PMI reading since June 2011.
Growth in China’s manufacturing picked up modestly in March. Chinese Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 50.9 in March compared with 50.1 in February, marking a new 11 month high.
China’s GDP economic growth increased to 7.9 percent in the final quarter of 2012, up from 7.4 percent in the previous quarter.
Over the week-end, officials from the central bank in Cyprus reported that major depositors in Cyprus’ largest bank, the Bank of Cyprus, will lose up to 60 percent of their deposits over € 100,000 euros ($128,000) under a European Union bailout to save Cyprus from bankruptcy.
Deposits of more than € 100,000 ($128,000) at the Bank of Cyprus will lose 37.5 percent in money that will be converted into bank shares. Another 22.5 percent will be held until central bank authorities know they can meet the terms of the bailout package which will be known in another 90 days.