After experiencing a withering first half of 2020, the world economy partly revived in the third quarter, as COVID-19 restrictions were eased.
Manufacturing and trade regenerated first; the consumer sector followed. Prepandemic levels of industrial activity were approached if not breached— US industrial production recovered to within six percentage points of December 2019 levels, while in the eurozone, GDP expanded 12.6% in Q3, within 4.4% of the December 2019 mark.
The pace of industrial growth generally quickened in October and November. The purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) for manufacturing, at both the global level and for individual surveyed economies, rose higher into expansion territory.
The manufacturing outlook was especially strong in Brazil and India; only in Russia did the indicator point to contraction.
The services PMIs for the world and for surveyed economies also show expansion (except in Russia); the United States and China are leading the services revival.
Trade continues to rebound. The most recent trade data are from the Container Throughput Index for October. This measurement climbed to a second consecutive historic high, at 122.6, after rising to 119.6 in September (from 116.5 in August).
Traffic has been increasing in both Chinese and non-Chinese ports.
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