US-Eurozone: weakening sentiment in manufacturing and services
US: Markit Manufacturing PMI (March): 52.5 vs 53.5 expected (prior: 53)
- Index was lower than expected due to lower sentiment on production.
- First estimate points towards still weakening sentiment, now at the same level than in mid-2017; some stabilization is expected on Q2, with prospects of more visibility on global trade.
US: Markit Services PMI (March): 54.8 vs 55.5 expected (prior: 56)
- Confidence has also weakened in services, on lower expectations and employment.
- The index has been volatile over the past months, but it stayed in a large range of 52-55.
- This weaker sentiment has to be validated by the ISM indices; they point towards moderate growth, but remained above any recession level. The mini cycle in activity is expected to recover progressively in the coming quarters.
- The composite PMI has eased but it remained in the 54-56 range in place since 2017.
US: Existing home sales (Feb.): 5.51M vs 5.1M expected (prior: 4.93M revised from 4.94M)
- Sales of single-family houses have sharply rebounded, recovering to its highest levels.
- Average and median prices remained on a high pace (2.7% y/y and 3.7% y/y respectively).
US: Wholesale inventories (Jan.): 1.2% m/m vs 0.1% expected (prior: 1.1%)
- Inventories remained on a rising trend in all major sectors (autos, machinery), sales have rebounded after a 3-month correction, driven by the auto sector. Inventory-to-sales ratio remained in a rising trend.
Eurozone: PMI Manufacturing (March): 47.6 vs 49.5 expected (prior: 49.3)
- Flash estimate has pointed towards renewed weakness in business sentiment, probably due to rising uncertainties on US-EU auto trade and more globally on global trade.
- PMI in France has passed just below 50, while the estimate for Germany has deteriorated further and reached very low levels (44.7), the same as during the 2012 European crisis.
Eurozone: PMI Services (March): 52.7 as expected (prior: 52.8)
- The sentiment in services stayed close to past month level; estimates for France and Germany have shown a significant decrease, (below 50 in France), meaning the fall should be less pronounced in peripherals.
- The composite PMI (services + manufacturing) has slightly eased over the month, as the weakness is more pronounced in the manufacturing sector; this point towards weak growth in Q1, with German industry still in contraction but a progressive stabilisation is expected over the next quarters.