Global factory activity contracted again in January, highlighting fragile recovery

  • U.S. manufacturing sinks further in Jan, but few layoffs – ISM
  • Euro zone factories have passed their trough in activity – PMI
  • China’s Jan factory activity shrinks – Caixin PMI survey

WASHINGTON/LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Manufacturing activity across the United States, Europe and Asia contracted again last month, underscoring the fragility of the global economic recovery, although factories in the euro zone at least may have passed the trough, surveys showed on Wednesday.

The latest figures come as central bankers gear up for another round of interest rate increases to combat high inflation. The U.S. Federal Reserve looks set to hike borrowing costs by 25 basis points later on Wednesday while the European Central Bank and the Bank of England are both expected to add 50 basis points on Thursday.

The Fed’s fastest interest rate-hiking cycle since the 1980s has stifled demand for goods, which are mostly bought on credit. U.S. manufacturing sunk further in…

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