Manufacturers in the Middle East and Mexico are injecting some momentum into global economic growth at a time when some traditionally high-growth markets are flagging. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are showing strong growth in output and orders in the latest monthly Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).
The Saudi PMI for November 2012 was 57.0 – a reading above 50 signals growth – with one in four of the firms surveyed reporting higher production. Employment levels rose for the 14th successive month. Although the headline PMI figure was below 59.8 in October, it represents continued strong growth.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are showing strong growth in output and orders in the latest PMI
The United Arab Emirates PMI was 53.7. Almost one in three firms indicated higher orders because of improving economic and market conditions. The Saudi and UAE figures exclude the oil sector.
In Mexico, new orders are rising at the fastest rate for 19 months. The HSBC Mexico Manufacturing PMI rose to 55.6 in November, signalling strong improvement in business conditions. Firms reported greater demand in both export and domestic markets.
The November figures suggest that the Middle East is being boosted at a time when some Asian economies are recording weakness. Taiwan had a manufacturing PMI of 47.4 for the month; South Korea 48.2; and China saw a modest return to growth with a figure of 50.5.
PMIs are based on interviews with senior purchasing executives, and can accurately measure economic activity in a more timely way than full official data. HSBC has partnered with Markit, the global financial information services company, to combine Markit data with insights from HSBC's network of economists in emerging markets.
HSBC PMIs now cover 15 of the world's main emerging markets.