Greece: Manufacturing conditions hold stable in September
The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from 49.4 in August to 50.0 in September, marking the highest reading since February. As a result, the PMI landed on the critical 50-threshold, indicating that operating conditions in the manufacturing sector remained unchanged over the previous month in September.
September’s upturn was largely attributed to stabilizing output, owing to a softer decline in new orders, and an increase in employment. Firms raised their staff numbers for the second consecutive month in September and at the fastest pace in seven months. Moreover, new export orders fell at a softer pace than in August, while new sales contracted at the weakest rate since June. That said, firms stressed that uncertainty stemming from the pandemic continued to weigh on client demand. In addition, business confidence fell below the series’ average, albeit remained in optimistic territory. On the price front, input cost inflation quickened in September amid raw material shortages and suppliers’ capacity issues. Nonetheless, firms lowered their selling prices once again in a bid to boost sales and amid high competition.
Commenting on the release, Siân Jones, economist at IHS Markit, noted:
“Uncertainty crept back into business confidence, as concerns regarding a dip in demand for transportation and tourism weighed on optimism. We do not expect total economic output in Greece to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.”