Markit: Greek Purchasing Managers’ Index rose strongly to 55.2 points in January

The Greek Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose strongly to 55.2 points in January, from 53.1 in December, showing the biggest improvement in business conditions for more than 10 years.

In a monthly report, Markit said growth was supported by strong demand from both the domestic and external markets. This fact encouraged companies to raise their workforce at the fastest rate ever recorded, contributing to another significant increase in production. Moreover, the volume of pending works grew for the first time since June 2008, while business optimism grew to reach another record.

Growth rates were equal in all three sectors of consumer, intermediate and investment goods. New orders recorded the highest increase since October 2007, with exports growing at the fastest rate in more than 10 years. These conditions encouraged enterprises to hire more workers at the fastest rate in 18 years. Manufacturers raised their purchasing activity at the fastest rate since November 2007, while supplies recorded their first increase since July 2008. Enterprises raised their production in January, for the eighth successive month and at the fastest rate in 9.5 years. Despite this trend, enterprises decreased their inventories.

Inflow prices grew for the second successive month due to higher raw materials’ prices, with companies raising their average sale prices, although at a slower rate that indicated pressure on profit margins.

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