Greece’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 46.6 points in January, from 49.3 in December, to the lowest level in 16 months and the weakest compared with the long-term average rate of 49.4 points, Markit said on Wednesday.
The survey said that Greek manufacturers were hit by bad weather conditions prevailing in the country early in the year, as the health of the sector deteriorated at the steepest rate since September 2015. The recession, a result of intense decline both in production and new orders, led companies to further reduce their workforce. Higher inflow prices, rising to a 70-month high, did not help Greek manufacturers which continued lowering sale prices.
New order levels continued falling in January, at the fastest rate since September 2015. New orders fell significantly for the fifth successive month, leading Greek manufacturers to cut production levels in the first month of 2017, at the fastest rate in 16 months. Greek companies reduced their pending works, expanding a trend prevailing since July 2008. Employment levels also fell in January, although enterprises remained optimistic over production outlook in the next 12 months, although optimism levels were the lowest since October 2015.
Inflow prices increased further, with the growth rate recording a 70-month high. However, strong competition led companies to cut sale prices. After a stabilization in December, Greek manufacturers’ purchasing activity fell in the start of 2017.