Austria: PMI moderates in February
The Bank Austria manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a nine-month low of 59.2 points in February from 61.3 points in the previous month, pointing to slower growth in the Austrian manufacturing sector. Nevertheless, the index remained solidly above the crucial 50-threshold, which separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector, where it has been for 35 consecutive months.
The pace of expansion of new domestic and foreign orders remained resilient and pressure on supply chains as demand for inputs was strong, and the volume of purchasing activity increased markedly. Due to the robust growth in new orders, both internal and external, backlogs of work increased and, as a result, employment grew again in February at a similar rate as in the previous month. In terms of prices, inflationary pressures remained sturdy despite moderating to a three-month low: Input prices rose sharply and were passed on to consumers, as output prices also increased markedly.
Output expectations moderated to the softest level since October 2017 but nonetheless remained firmly positive on the back of current business situations and an upbeat outlook on the economy.