France looks increasingly like it is slipping into recession. It is the poorest performing core country – an increasingly inapt label. Highlighting this are the latest PMI numbers. The services PMI, already woefully depressed, slipped lower last month, to 41.9, lower even than Spain’s. The manufacturing PMI was barely much better, falling to 43.9.
The US economy is currently marked by weak manufacturing, but with a housing market showing signs of a sustainable recovery. However, the Fed is focused on the job market, leaving the option open for more quantitative easing if it doesn’t begin to materially improve (which is highly unlikely in the near term)
So far the recovery in output, income and employment following the 2008/09 recession has been the weakest on record with only industrial activity appearing to buck the trend. Most remarkably, however, is the steady decline in post-recession expansions of employment and personal income growth. In the US, these have fallen since 1982, but have currently hit a new low point.