IHS Markit: Greek Purchasing Managers’ Index eased to 55 points in March

The Greek Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) eased slightly to 55 points in March from 56.1 points in February as the growth rate of new orders, purchasing activity and production fell, while business confidence continued rising to new record-highs in the month, contributing to the most rapid increase in employment growth ever recorded.

IHS Markit, in a monthly report released on Monday, said the index recorded a widespread growth in the manufacturing sector of the country, with increases recorded in each one of the three sectors monitored, especially in the sector of production of intermediate goods. New orders grew for the eighth successive month, reflecting strong demand by customers, with new orders from abroad rising in March. Growth rates remained significant but weakened compared with February levels.

Positively affected by a strong increase in new orders, Greek manufacturers raised their purchasing activity in March and led to the strongest increase in inventories since April 2000. Strong demand also contributed to a further increase in production, although at a slower pace compared with February.
Greek manufacturing companies hired more personnel in March, extending the period of rising job positions to 11 months, with the growth rate reaching a record high in the month, while pending works levels remained unchanged.

The inflow price growth rate weakened for the second month in a row, but remained significant due to higher fuel and raw material prices (including plastics). Average charge prices grew for the third month in a row, although the growth rate was weaker compared with the average inflow cost growth rate.

Business confidence grew in March, recording a new all-time high due to forecasts over high levels of demand from abroad.

The PMI is a composite index measuring business activity in the domestic manufacturing sector. Readings above 50 indicate a growing sector and readings below 50 a shrinking sector.