ECONOMY

In Brief

Manufacturing strengthens in August The health of Greece’s manufacturing sector strengthened in August after 11 months of decline, with the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rising to 51.1 points from 48.8 in July, a survey of manufacturers showed yesterday. Underpinning the rise in the headline index were expansions in output and new orders – the two largest components of the PMI. However, the rate of growth was modest and subdued by historical standards. Greek manufacturers reported new order growth for the first time since September last year. Data indicated that domestic demand drove the expansion, as new export business continued to fall slightly. Better economic conditions were reported by the survey’s respondents. The seasonally adjusted PMI composite indicator provides a single-figure snapshot of the performance of the manufacturing sector. The 50-point mark separates contraction from growth. «Production at Greek manufacturing plants was raised in August to satisfy higher volumes of new business. It was the first time in almost a year that output increased. However, the rate of growth was only slight and well below the level recorded during the same period in 2008,» Markit said. It said employment continued to shrink, suggesting that spare capacity continued to exist in Greece’s manufacturing economy. Staffing numbers fell in August, extending the current period of contraction to 16 months. (Reuters) Tourist arrivals to drop around 10 percent Tourist arrivals to Greece will drop around 10 percent this year, Gerasimos Fokas, head of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels said yesterday. Revenue will fall by between 16 and 17 percent, or 2 billion euros ($2.9 billion), as the financial crisis hits traveler spending, according to an e-mailed transcript of Fokas’s comments, citing figures from the Bank of Greece. Passenger arrivals at Athens International Airport fell 7.1 percent in the first seven months of the year, according to data on the airport’s website. Tourism accounts for about 16 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product and about one in five jobs, according to estimates by the World Travel and Tourism Council, an industry group. (Bloomberg) Romanian investment Soft drink bottler PepsiAmericas Inc said it plans to invest roughly $150 million by 2011 in a plant it opened yesterday in southern Romania, the company’s second-largest facility in Europe. PepsiAmericas’s investment is among the largest this year in recession-hit Romania, where foreign direct investment is expected to fall by more than half to around 4 billion euros ($5.74 billion) from last year’s 9 billion euros. Like most of its neighbors, European Union state Romania has also seen consumption plunge as the world crisis dried up credit lines, boosted unemployment and soured consumer mood. (Reuters) German tax deal Gemany and Cyprus signed an agreement to avoid double taxation, the German Finance Ministry said today in a faxed statement. Cyprus follows OECD standards in the information exchange, the ministry said. (Bloomberg)