Austria: PMI falls to four-month low in March
March 30, 2015
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) elaborated by Bank Austria fell from 48.7 in February to 47.7 in March, marking a four-month low. As a result, the index is further below the 50 threshold that indicates a contraction in business activity in the manufacturing sector, where it has been hovering since September of last year.
According to Bank Austria, the deterioration observed in March was driven by sharp declines in both output and new orders. The fall in production was the second strongest decline in two years, while the drop in new orders was broad-based. As a result of the decreases in new orders and output, firms continued to reduce their workforce numbers. March’s rate of decline in employment was the strongest in 2015 thus far. Regarding prices, the Bank pointed out that, “Austrian manufacturers reported a much weaker decline in input costs than in the previous month in March. The milder drop in costs was attributed by panel members to increased import prices resulting from a weak euro.”
Author: Cecilia Simkievich, Economist