Macroeconomic & Geopolitical

Are We There Yet? Manufacturing is Likely Bottoming

January 2020 – 3 min read
Consumer and trade support U.S. fourth quarter of 2019 GDP and investment remains weak, January PMIs continue to improve globally and steel tariffs are set to expand beyond what is already in place.

Watch List


Arrows indicate consensus forecast compared to the previous period.

U.S.

  • Employment will likely show another strong performance in January, with a healthy increase in nonfarm payrolls. However, with slack remaining in the labor market, wage growth is not likely to materially accelerate.
  • The ISM manufacturing index is expected to increase in January, but risks are tilted to the downside. Positive effects from the ‘Phase One’ deal will aid industries such as agriculture, and regional Federal Reserve manufacturing surveys in January point to improvement in the index. However, the Boeing production halt will weigh on transportation.

Europe

  • Eurozone retail sales will likely take a step back M/M in December, after rising 1% M/M in November. Sales will remain solid on a year-ago basis.
  • German industrial production should slide in December following a strong November, as industrial sector weighs on GDP. However, as trade tensions ease, Germany’s manufacturing sector should bottom.

Asia Pacific

  • China’s Caixin manufacturing PMI is likely to remain relatively unchanged in positive territory, however the coronavirus outbreak will weigh on Q1 growth.

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Christopher Smart, PhD, CFA

Chief Global Strategist & Head of the Barings Investment Institute

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