Managers forecast economy will pick up

Economic activity is projected to recover substantially in the coming months, according to the Purchasing Managers Index, which is compiled by NTC Research. Employment in manufacturing rose for the first time in July after 11 months, while the 300 managers surveyed said sales exceeded projections. PMI, where a figure below 50 indicates contraction, rose to 53 points from 51.7 in June. The rise mainly reflected the largest rise in production and new orders in 13 months. Export orders rose for the sixth month in a row, while the rise in production, in view of a hefty backlog of existing contracts, continued to outpace that of new business. Average purchasing prices rose for the 25th consecutive month, linked by those surveyed to the surging price of oil. The rise in prices was the highest in three months, increasing the pressure on profit margins. Firms reported that intensifying competition undermined their pricing policy. Supply inventories fell for the 11th consecutive month, as the rise in production exceeded purchases. Finished goods inventories also fell, for the first time in six months, the main reason being higher-than-expected sales. Industrial output Greek industrial output fell 2.3 percent year-on-year in June after a similar drop in May, the country’s statistics service (NSS) said yesterday. Manufacturing, which accounts for slightly more than 11 percent of gross domestic product, was down 3.0 percent. Mining and quarrying recorded a 8.9 percent drop, while output rose 3.2 percent in the energy sector, covering electricity, natural gas and water. Quarrying, mining and energy amount for a further 4 percent of GDP.