The following is an extract from IHS Markit’s monthly PMI overview presentation. For the full report, please look at the bottom of the article.

Global business activity contracted sharply in May, according to the latest PMI business survey data, dropping for a fourth successive month. Encouragingly, the rate of decline cooled markedly since April’s record collapse as economies around the world started to ease lockdowns designed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, but was nonetheless the second-steepest in over two decades.

The JPMorgan Global PMI (compiled by IHS Markit) showed a record surge of just over 10 index points in May from 26.2 in April to 36.3. The improvement coincided with many countries loosening their coronavirus containment measures, such as enforced closures of non-essential businesses and social distancing restrictions, the intensity of which peaked in April. However, despite the rise in the index during May, the latest reading remained even lower than the prior-pandemic record low of 36.8 seen at the height of the global financial crisis in November 2008, reflecting the gradual pace at which economies were reopened and the ongoing paucity of demand.

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Editor’s Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.

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