Written by BBC News Posted On: Wednesday, 01 August 2012 Last Updated: Wednesday, 01 August 2012
Manufacturing in most of the world is in a slump, a raft of reports for July has suggested.US manufacturing growth shrank for the second month in a row, said a survey by the Institute for Supply Management.
In the UK, the manufacturing sector shrank at its fastest rate for more than three years, while in the eurozone, factory output contracted at its fastest pace in three years.
And manufacturing activity in China had its slowest increase in eight months.
The ISM, a trade group of US purchasing managers, said on Wednesday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 49.8, from 49.7 in June.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction. June was the first time in three years that US manufacturing contracted, the survey showed.
The US economy slowed in the second quarter, while the UK and most of the eurozone has been in recession.
China is also facing a slowdown in the facing of weakening global demand for its goods and rising inflation.
Europe and China woes
In the UK, the Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 45.4 last month, from a downwardly-revised 48.4 in June.
The survey also highlighted a big fall in export orders for manufacturers, which it said had fallen at the sharpest rate since February 2009.
The PMI compiled by Markit for the 17 nations that use the euro fell to 44 from 45.1 in June.
Germany, Europe's industrial powerhouse, posted one of the lowest scores.
And manufacturing activity in China, the world's second-largest economy, dropped to 50.1 from 50.2 in June, official data showed.
Factory output was still expanding, but new orders, including export orders, had contracted in July more than in June, according to data from the state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
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