ECONOMY

Greek manufacturing PMI hit 44-month high in August as export orders increased

Greece’s manufacturing PMI hit a 44-month high of 48.7, up from 47.0, in August, signalling a further slowdown in the deterioration of business conditions, according to figures released on Monday.

Markit, which compiles the index that gives a snapshot of conditions in the manufacturing economy, said that new order intakes were broadly unchanged from July and output fell at the slowest rate for over 3.5 years. New export orders meanwhile increased for the first time since August 2011.

“The index has now risen in seven of the past eight survey periods, highlighting a sustained slowdown from the rapid pace contraction seen at the start of the year to near stabilisation,” said Markit’s Phil Smith.

“The most encouraging developments signalled by August’s survey were a stable trend in new orders and a slight upturn in export sales,” he added.

“A repeat of this scenario next month is likely to halt the downturn in goods production, which is already showing signs of abating, and fuel belief that a recovery can get underway before the end of the year.”

Nevertheless, figures regarding employment levels continued to show a decline, even though the latest decrease in staffing numbers was the least marked in 43 months.

“The trend in employment, which does tend to lag those for output and new orders, is meanwhile still weak, with notable job losses again recorded by manufacturers during the month,” said Smith.

“Employment may continue to fall until we see backlogs of work start to accumulate, especially as profitability remains under pressure from rising cost inflation.”