ECONOMY

Manufacturing expands at slowest pace for 10 months

Greece’s manufacturing sector expanded at its slowest pace in 10 months in October as output and new orders grew at a weaker rate, a monthly survey of around 300 companies by NTC Research revealed yesterday. The Greek Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 50.5 in October from 51.7 in September, but stayed above the 50 mark dividing contraction from growth. Regarding output and demand, NTC said that «new orders placed with Greek manufacturers rose for a tenth successive month in October. However, the rate of new business growth was slight, having eased from one month ago, and new export orders showed a marginal decline. Output continued to expand in response to rising levels of new business, but at a more moderate pace than that recorded in September.» It also noted that «Greek manufacturers pointed to a further substantial increase in average costs during October. Furthermore, the rate of input price inflation accelerated sharply to a four-year high.» «Panel firms widely reported that average costs had been driven up by the escalating price of raw materials and petrol… Manufacturing employment showed a modest decline (though the rate of job shedding was slightly greater than that recorded in September). A number of firms indicated that job shedding was designed to limit escalating average costs.» With regard to inventories, «stocks of purchases declined for the second month in a row, and at a sharp rate compared to September. Similarly, stocks of finished goods contracted more quickly than one month ago.» (Reuters)