New signs of a global slowdown are darkening the economic outlook.
On Thursday, measures of business sentiment in Europe slipped and reports from purchasing managers at manufacturers around the world turned down. Among them, China, the world’s second-largest economy, registered its seventh-straight drop in an important index of manufacturing activity. The U.S. reported that businesses were slowing their orders of computers, aircraft, fabricated metals and other durable goods.
With the latest reports, a new worry is emerging among economists and policy makers: that economic activity is slowing in sync around the globe and not just in a few markets with their own isolated problems. Europe””struggling with the risk of a Greek pullout from the euro area and broader fiscal problems””is the epicenter of global economic concerns right now. But reports of economic trouble are turning up in India, South Africa, Brazil and elsewhere.