Czech Republic: Manufacturing PMI climbs again in February but remains in negative terrain
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, rose from 45.2 in January to 46.5 in February, a nine-month high. Despite the upturn, the index remained below the critical 50-mark separating deterioration from improvement in the health of the manufacturing sector, where it has been for over a year.
February’s climb was mainly driven by milder declines in both production and new orders compared to the previous month. That said, new business from abroad fell at a steeper rate in February as a stronger currency weighed on product competitiveness in external markets. Meanwhile, manufacturers continued to shed jobs, though less sharply than in January. On the price front, although input costs rose for the first time since October, in part due to the coronavirus outbreak leading suppliers to hike prices, goods producers continued to slash selling charges in a bid to attract new clients. Lastly, business confidence strengthened in February, with expectations over future output turning positive for the first time since September.