While we await today's US Manufacturing ISM number (expected to rise from 54.9 to 55.5), here is how some 23 of the world's most important countries fared in May in their manufacturing data. In brief: as the below table shows, out of the 23 countries that have reported so far, 8 reported improvements in their manufacturing sectors in May, while 15, or two-thirds, recorded a weakening in mfg data from April. That's the bad news, and an indication that the latest upswing in the global manufacturing economy may be ending. The good news: despite the modest decline, there were only 7 countries "contracting" or in negative territory (below 50) and 16 in positive. In particular, France, Korea, and Norway moved from expansion to contraction.
Some drilldown on the data from Bank of America:
China: Manufacturing PMI came in at 50.8 in May up from 50.4 in April and above consensus expectations of 50.7.
Italy: Manufacturing PMI came in modestly weaker than expected in May, falling to 53.2 from 54.0 in April with expectations at 53.6. However, the decline only reverses half of the strong gain in the previous month, so over 2Q 2014, the PMI is still notably stronger than 1Q.
France: In May, the final Manufacturing PMI was revised up a touch to 49.6 from 49.3 initially, though notably below 51.2 in April.
Euro: In May, the final Manufacturing PMI was revised down to 52.2 from 52.5 initially and down from 53.4 in April. Expectations were for a slightly higher 52.5. The May print may be explained by the small upward revision for France being more than offset by the downward revision to Germany and weaker than expected releases for Spain and Italy.
UK: In line with market expectations, the Manufacturing PMI edged down to 57.0 in May from 57.3 in April. Still, the UK PMI data are at very strong levels and above the pre-crisis average of about 51.