The US trade deficit widened sharply in December as slowing global demand and a strong dollar weighed on exports, another sign that economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter. Other data from the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed new orders for US-made goods barely rose in December and business spending on equipment was much weaker than previously thought, pointing to a softening in manufacturing activity.
China's manufacturing activity shrank for a third straight month in February, sinking to its worst performance in three years as the economy slows and the US trade war bites, official data showed on Thursday. The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a gauge of factory conditions, came in at 49.2 for the month, down from 49.5 in January, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The growth of manufacturing activity in Brazil slowed for a second straight month in May, a private survey showed on Friday, a sign that a weaker currency and political uncertainty are taking a toll on Latin America's largest economy.