Global manufacturers enjoyed a strong November but, as Sonia Legg reports, concerns about the protectionist leanings of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and an OPEC-induced oil price rally could curtail future growth.
It's on a roll - latest manufacturing data from Markit shows many parts of the global economy were stronger in November than expected. The euro zone enjoyed its best month since the start of 2014. With decent increases in Spain, Italy and Ireland. Germany - the region's largest economy - slowed very slightly - but October's figure was a three year high. A weaker currency and stronger demand were key factors. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASPER LAWLER, MARKET ANALYST, CMC MARKETS, SAYING: "The euro has come down quite significantly against the dollar, it's up a fair bit against the British pound which is offsetting it somewhat. But for the most part this aggregate lower euro is positive for European manufacturers and it is just good that sentiment is holding up despite political uncertainty." It was a similar story in Asia - Japanese order books rose, as did those in Taiwan and Vietnam And China's factories notched up their strongest growth in activity in two years. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASPER LAWLER, MARKET ANALYST, CMC MARKETS, SAYING: "China is trying to transition from a more manufacturing orientated towards a more consumption base. The consumption area of the market is holding up well and we have government support for some of the manufacturing so at the moment we've got the best of both worlds." China's slowdown was worrying many earlier this year. But the U.S., Europe and the UK have been holding up - in some cases against the odds - and that means more demand for Chinese goods. But no-one's popping champagne corks yet, particularly Brexit-bracing Britain. Manufacturing there cooled unexpectedly as factories grappled with soaring costs from sterling's slump. There are other uncertainties too, including tricky elections in Europe, the protectionist leanings of Donald Trump and an OPEC-induced oil price rally.