PMI manufacturing slows

Growth in Greece’s manufacturing sector slowed in April, after hitting its fastest pace in almost seven years in March, a monthly survey of around 300 companies showed yesterday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slowed to 53.2 points in April from 54.8 in March but remained above the 50 mark for the fourth consecutive month, data from NTC Research showed. The 50 mark separates contraction from growth. The PMI provides a snapshot of operating conditions in manufacturing. «Although the rate of growth eased sharply since the previous month’s high, Greek manufacturers expanded production at a robust pace in April. Anecdotal evidence linked the rise in output to higher volumes of sales,» said NTC. «Strong demand, especially in export markets, underpinned the increase of incoming new business in the latest survey period… The rate of output price inflation eased to its least marked since last August. Anecdotal evidence suggested that firms had raised factory gate prices in an attempt to pass on higher average costs to customers. «Although average costs continued to rise markedly, Greek manufacturers indicated a sharp easing in the rate of input price inflation in April… Manufacturers reported hiring additional staff in response to rising production requirements. Around 11 percent of survey respondents reported higher employment levels compared with less than 5 percent that signaled a decline. «The slight softening in the Greek PMI reading does not negate the view that manufacturing activity will likely record a further rise this year on the back of strong exports and dynamic domestic demand growth,» said Platon Monokroussos of EFG Eurobank. «Greek PMI is likely to remain above the 50 boom-or-bust threshold in the following few months.» (Reuters)