Weak Global Economic Data Pressures Stocks

cgrowthU.S. stock indexes are heading lower on Thursday morning following disappointing global manufacturing data out of Europe, China, and Japan.

In Europe the pace of growth in the euro area fell to a 16 month low, according to Markit Eurozone PMI.

Business activity in the manufacturing and services economies dropped from 52.1 in October to 51.4, marking its lowest reading since July 2013.

Germany’s preliminary manufacturing survey came in at 50.0 and missed consensus estimates.

Japan’s manufacturing data also showed moderation in November.

The flash Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing PMI came in at 52.1 in November, down from 52.4 in October.

On Thursday in China factory activity fell to its lowest level in 6 months.

The preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell to 50.0 in November versus a final reading of 50.4 in October.

A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion while a reading below 50 marks contraction. China’s third quarter 2014 GDP growth fell to 7.3 percent, the slowest pace in over 5 years.

In the United States on Thursday CPI data, the most widely cited inflation indicator that is used to calculate cost of living adjustments for government programs, came in at 0.0 percent in November, higher than the estimate of -0.2 from briefing.com but lower than 0.1 percent in October.

Core CPI which subtracts food and energy prices, came in at 0.2 percent, slightly higher than the estimate of 0.1 percent from briefing.com and higher than 0.1 percent in October.

Inflation is closely watched by Fed members at the Federal Reserve and is used to set monetary policy.

The personal-consumption expenditures price index that the Federal Reserve prefers to use for inflation showed a 1.4 percent inflation reading in September which is well below the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target.

Yesterday minutes from the Fed’s meeting in October showed that Fed members expect inflation to remain subdued in the short-term but rise in the long term.

“Although inflation in the near term will likely be held down by lower energy prices and other factors, the Committee judges that the likelihood of inflation running persistently below 2 percent has diminished somewhat since early this year” according to Fed minutes.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

 

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