Greek factory activity shrinks in September as output, orders drop


Activity in Greece's manufacturing sector shrank again in September after expanding in August, as production and new orders dropped, a survey showed on Monday.

Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index for manufacturing, which accounts for about 10 percent of the Greek economy, fell to 49.2 points last month from 50.4 in August. Readings below 50 denote contractions in activity.

Output declined at a mild rate after marginal growth in August, with some producers blaming tight liquidity and shortages of raw materials.

"The performance during September followed the trend of inconsistency that has so far defined 2016," said IHS Markit economist Samuel Agass.

The intake of new orders shrank in September with export business also weakening after two months of growth.

"Although the headline PMI was not as weak as this time last year, there was still too little to encourage the sector, with all signs pointing toward a more severe slowdown during the final quarter of the year," Agass said.

On the jobs front, manufacturers continued to hire more people for the fourth successive month, although the rate of job growth slowed to the lowest level in those four months.

Intensifying cost pressures for the sixth straight month did not deter firms from further reducing factory gate prices.