The HSBC Markit Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) was in for April 2013 today at 50.5, the lowest since October 2011. This composite index is an average of the Manufacturing and Services Indexes. The Manufacturing Index was at 51, released earlier this month and the lowest since Nov 2011.
What’s above 50 is still expanding, but a number closer to 50 means the expansion is at a lower rate.
What’s also not said but to note is that if the average is 50.5, and the manufacturing index is at 51, then the other component – the services index – is at 50. This means the services index is close to moving into contraction zone.
All indications seem to be of a slowdown, but even in the PMI releases there is a note of caution on prices – inflation’s cooling but wage growth remains high.