Increased demand boosted global manufacturing activity in November with purchasing managers indices (PMIs), a widely followed gauge of factory activity, increasing in nearly all the largest economies. As the chart above shows, those economies dominate the top right quadrant, which represents both improving PMI numbers and expanding activity. U.S. factories expanded at their fastest pace in 2-1/2 years, while Chinese output pointed to improvement in the world’s second-largest economy after a long period of sluggishness. Japan, the third largest economy, saw manufacturing grow at its fastest clip in more than seven years as export orders soared.
The 17-country euro zone’s manufacturing sector also showed improvement, though more so in some economies than in others. Germany was the leader among the main economies, France the laggard. Non-euro-zone member Britain was the pick of the big European economies, however, seeing its strongest factory growth in almost three years.