Austria: Manufacturing PMI jumps to three-year high in February
Business conditions in the manufacturing sector improved notably in February, with the UniCredit Bank Austria Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) climbing to 58.3 from 54.2 in January. February’s print marked the best result in three years. As a result, the index moved further north of the neutral 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector compared to the prior month.
The jump was largely driven by quicker growth of output, new orders and employment. New business grew at the quickest rate since October 2020, boosted by firming domestic and international demand, particularly from Asia, Germany and the U.S. Moreover, production rose at the steepest pace since July 2020 and firms hired workers at the fastest rate in over two years in order to increase capacity. Turning to prices, shortages in inputs such as raw materials and components coupled with increased supply-chain bottlenecks led input prices to rise at the quickest pace in almost 10 years, with firms partly passing these higher cost burdens onto customers. Lastly, optimism among manufacturers rose to the highest level in over three years on hopes of improved demand ahead partly thanks to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.