Austria: Business conditions in Austria stagnate in March
At the close of the first quarter, business conditions in Austria’s manufacturing sector stagnated. The Bank Austria Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a four-year low of 50.0 in March, down from February’s 51.8.
The fall in the headline was broad-based. Output grew at the weakest pace in over three-and-a-half years while new orders fell for the third consecutive month, despite robust growth in consumer goods production. Meanwhile, order books declined at the strongest pace in over four years. Moreover, new export orders dropped at the steepest rate in nearly six-and-a-half years, likely due to uncertainty related to trade protectionism and troubles in the automotive sector across Europe. Backlogs of work continued to fall while job creation was the weakest in nearly three years. Regarding inflation, weakened demand led to a slowdown in input price inflation and output prices continued to rise at a weak rate. Looking ahead, confidence among manufacturers remained subdued.