Ominous worldwide decline in manufacturing

Today there are a myriad of economic statistics that only serve to confuse and obfuscate.   Frankly most can be ignored by those who are not involved in the day-to-day market activities.  However there are some statistics that serve as a bell-weather of economic activity that should not be ignored.  Among them is the manufacturing activity index. This index measures the growth or contraction of one of the key elements of any economy: the manufacturing sector.   Over the past 18 months throughout the global economy there has been a consistent pattern of increasing manufacturing activity which has buoyed the general mood of investors and governments that economic expansion was well underway. However this past two month (May-June) there has been a precipitous turn around in this index in virtually all major manufacturing countries.  In understanding this index it is important to focus on a reading of 50 as any number approaching that level or below it...(Read Full Post)