Global economy shows signs of slowdown

May 01, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT
Components await shipment at manufacturing firm Sigma UK in Hinckley, central England, May 1, 2013.
REUTERS/Darren Staples

Manufacturing and trade data from around the world points to a slowing of the global economy. Manufacturing output growth in both the two largest economies, the U.S. and China, spulttered in April, though that in the U.K. and Japan picked up as the pound and the yen weakened against other currencies. That helped those countries' exporters, but hurt others' such as South Korea's to whom the government is now to give $10 billion in aid following a decline in exports in April from March. There were signs of weakness in the labor market in the U.S. which added 119,000 people to non-farm private sector payrolls in April, far fewer than the 150,000 forecast and the slowest increase since September. Construction spending in the U.S. fell to a seven month low as tighter fiscal policy started to take a toll.