BUSINESS

Greek manufacturing sector grew in January for first time since 2009

Greece’s manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in 53 months in January, according to the Markit PMI figures published on Monday.

The Manufacturing PMI – a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing economy – in January reached 51.2, up from 49.6 in December.

This was the first time the index passed 50 since August 2009, reflecting expansion in output levels and new orders.

“Production levels at Greek manufacturers rose for the third month in succession in January,” added Markit. “Furthermore, the rate of expansion accelerated to a solid pace that was the fastest since September 2008. Intermediate goods production was the primary driver of the upturn.”

Markit, however, pointed out that job losses continued in the manufacturing sector.

“A slight rise in new export orders contributed to the improved performance, though data inferred that it was the domestic market that provided the principal boost,” said Markit economist Phil Smith.

“Deflationary pressures persist, with firms lowering their prices again amid ongoing efforts to grow sales. A knock-on effect of this was a further squeeze on profitability, which in turn encouraged the advancement of productivity and more job losses.”

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