Colombia: Manufacturing PMI edges up in February
Business conditions in Colombia’s manufacturing sector showed some improvement in February, with the rate of contraction easing slightly from the previous month. The seasonally-adjusted Davivienda manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 49.5, up from 48.5 in January, thus remaining below the critical 50-point threshold separating expansion from contraction.
February’s print was underpinned by a softer decline in output and new orders. Manufacturers were more upbeat about the prospects for production, with business sentiment climbing to a series-high. This, coupled with increased efforts to boost sales and meet orders, prompted firms to hire more workers, although the rate of staff in-take was marginal. On the price front, a stronger peso helped to curb input cost inflation, which moderate to the lowest in seven months.
Commenting on the outlook for the country’s manufacturing activity:
“The good news continue to be that businessmen consider that the fall in manufacturing activity will be a short-term phenomenon. Indeed, twelve-month production expectations are at their highest level in seven years. It is striking that, probably associated with the incentives generated by the latest tax reform, some businessmen are beginning to express their intention to increase their investments this year.”