Austria: Manufacturing PMI jumps to record-high in April
Manufacturing operating conditions in Austria improved at the strongest pace on record in April, with the UniCredit Bank Austria manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) coming in at 64.7 from 63.4 in March. Consequently, the index moved further above the neutral 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector compared to the prior month as the sector gained traction.
The headline jump was driven by the fastest rise in new orders since the series began more than two decades ago. Demand dynamics improved both domestically and externally, with strong demand from European peers and Asia. Due to greater demand, output picked up steam in the month; however, the pace of growth eased slightly as firms had difficulty sourcing inputs and as supplier deliveries were delayed. As a consequence, backlogs of work rose for the second month in a row, and stocks of finished goods dropped at an increased rate as inventories were used to meet demand. Regarding employment, job creation gained steam in April amid firms’ attempts to expand capacity. Turning to prices, supply shortages and higher transport costs drove a record-steep increase in input price inflation, but this was passed on to customers to an extent. Lastly, optimism remained at a near-series high in April despite dipping slightly from March.