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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dismal Manufacturing Numbers Worldwide; US ISM in Contraction Second Month; Why Another Round of QE is Pointless

U.S. and euro zone factory activity slumped again in July while Chinese manufacturing hit an eight-month low, surveys showed on Wednesday, as economies worldwide showed signs of slowing.

Economic malaise was worst in the 17-country euro zone, where output plummeted and the manufacturing sector contracted for an 11th straight month as a downturn that began in smaller countries continued to spread into core euro area economies.

The slump worsened in Italy, Spain and Greece as well as the region's two biggest economies -- Germany and France.

Europe's economic woes also depressed export orders in China and India, where manufacturing had appeared to be holding up despite the euro zone debt crisis and slowing U.S. growth.

U.S. manufacturing, meanwhile, contracted for a second consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management's index of national factory activity.

A separate report from Markit showed activity barely expanding and at its slowest pace in almost three years, partly due to lower European demand for U.S. products.

"The manufacturing numbers are pretty dismal. There's really no good way to read them," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. "I think they bolster the case for more Federal Reserve action, and globally the argument is pretty much the same."
Would Another Round of QE Help?

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