ECONOMY

Greek factory activity returns to contraction in September – PMI

Greek factory activity contracted at the fastest rate in almost a year in September as output and new orders declined, a survey showed on Wednesday.

Markit’s purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing, which makes up about 10 percent of Greece’s economy, fell to 48.4 in September from 50.1 in August, sliding back below the 50 mark that denotes growth.

It was the third reading below 50 in the past four months and follows August’s 50.1.

“The picture for the sector across the third quarter as a whole was … one of broad stagnation, which was somewhat disappointing given the progress seen in the first half of the year,” said Markit economist Phil Smith.

Output at Greek manufacturers fell slightly in September, the second contraction in three months due to a fall in new orders. New export orders were stable after a four-month period of modest growth, the survey found.

Jobs in the sector fell for the fourth straight month in September, though at a slower rate, and a decrease in staffing numbers was sometimes linked to retirees not being replaced, Markit said. [Reuters]