PMI in Greece posts fastest rise in output since Nov. 2007
Momentum continued to build in the Greek manufacturing sector mid-way through the first quarter 2018, with rates of expansion in total new orders, output and purchasing activity reaching post-global financial crisis highs, according to a press release on Thursday by PMI Markit.
Business confidence was the strongest since data collection began for the series over five-and-a-half years ago. In turn, these trends encouraged firms to take on additional workers at the fastest pace in the series history.
Meanwhile, input cost inflation remained marked and contributed to a second successive hike in average selling prices.
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Greece Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – a composite indicator designed to measure the performance of the manufacturing economy – posted above the 50.0 no-change threshold in February. Moreover, at 56.1, up from 55.2 in January, the index reading signaled the sharpest improvement in business conditions since June 2000. The increase extended the current period of expansion to nine months, by far the longest since the global financial crisis.
By sub-sector, the sharpest rates of growth were recorded at producers of consumer and intermediate goods, with the pace of expansion at investment goods comparatively more subdued.
Supporting overall growth was the sharpest rise in new orders since October 2007 amid frequent reports of robust client demand. The expansion was broad-based across both foreign and domestic markets, as evidenced by a fifth consecutive rise in new export orders.
Firms expanded their workforces at the sharpest pace since data collection began in May 1999.
Higher production targets were frequently mentioned among those reporting an increase. In spite of this, unfinished work accumulated for the second successive month, and to the greatest extent on record.
To supplement enhanced operating capacity, Greek manufacturers raised their purchasing activity for the eighth month in a row in February. Indeed, the rate of growth was the most marked since October 2007, and contributed to only the second rise in pre-production inventories for nine-and-a-half years.
As a consequence of these trends, output rose at the steepest pace for over a decade. Nevertheless, post-production stocks continued to fall as firms looked to fulfil contracts with existing inventories.
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