Factories Worldwide Shake Off COVID-19 Gloom But Outlook Shaky

Factories across Europe, Asia and North America continued to shake off the coronavirus gloom in August as the global economy emerged from a downturn triggered by the health crisis, thanks in part to massive fiscal and monetary stimulus programmes, Reuters reported. Surveys showing an expansion in manufacturing activity may reduce pressure on policymakers to take bolder steps to avert a deeper recession. J.P. Morgan’s measure of global manufacturing activity rose to a 21-month high of 51.8 in August from 50.6 in July, the second straight month above the neutral reading of 50. Many analysts expect the recovery to be choppy, however, as renewed waves of coronavirus infections curb business activity and prevent some nations from fully reopening their economies. Fears of a resurgence in infections in some economies may discourage firms from boosting capital expenditure and delay a sustained rebound, some analysts say. Read more