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Global manufacturing suffers worst contraction since 2009 as coronavirus spreads

The global manufacturing sector in February suffered its sharpest contraction in nearly 11 years as the novel coronavirus outbreak that started in China stifled demand, trade flows and supply chains, according to an index produced by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and IHS Markit.

The Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index reached its lowest level since May 2009, sliding month over month to a reading of 47.2 from 50.4. A reading below 50 indicates a monthly decrease in a particular economic indicator.

"Output fell across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods industries, with the steepest drop at investment goods producers," JPMorgan and IHS Markit said.

Manufacturing production and new orders slumped the most since April 2009, while new export orders and employment contracted at a faster rate.

Fifteen of the 31 economies covered by the index logged a contraction in manufacturing output, including China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and South Korea. Production and new orders declined at a record pace in China.

Asia

The Chinese government's manufacturing PMI tumbled to a record low of 35.7 in February from the previous month's 50.0 reading. A separate manufacturing PMI compiled by IHS Markit and Caixin also fell month over month to 40.3 from 51.1, marking the lowest reading since the survey began in 2004.

In Japan, the manufacturing PMI produced by IHS Markit and au Jibun Bank Corp. came in at 47.8 in February, representing the worst reading since May 2016.

Europe

The eurozone's manufacturing sector remained in contraction territory for the 13th month in a row, despite the corresponding PMI rising to a one-year high of 49.2 from 47.9 in January, IHS Markit said.

In the U.K., the manufacturing sector expanded at its strongest pace since April 2019, although supply chain disruptions linked to the coronavirus outbreak were "emerging rapidly," according to IHS Markit.

US

Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing PMI for the U.S. fell to 50.1% from 50.9%, indicating that the sector barely expanded in February. The manufacturing PMI produced by IHS Markit declined to 50.7 from 51.9, marking the weakest pace of growth since August 2019.