Greece: PMI jumps to multi-year high
The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) pointed to sustained momentum in the Greek economy in February, jumping to 56.1 points, up from 55.2 points in January. It marked the fifth consecutive month of improvement, and the strongest reading since June 2000. As a result, the index now lies further above the critical 50-threshold that signals expansion in the manufacturing sector.
The reading came on the back of record-high business confidence, which in turn helped drive a record increase in new hiring in February. New hiring reached a nearly two-decade high in the month, buttressed by robust expansion in new orders, output and purchasing activity. Meanwhile, the strongest increase in new orders since October 2007 was due to healthy domestic and external demand; it was also behind decade-high growth in Greek manufacturers’ purchasing activity. On the price front, input price inflation remained elevated as price pressure for raw materials persisted.
Alex Gill, Economist at IHS Markit, said:
“Perhaps the most encouraging trend in the latest data was a sharp rise in total client demand, indeed the sharpest in over a decade. A slight cause for concern, however, was a drop in new orders at producers of capital goods, perhaps suggesting that Greek manufacturers maintain a cautious attitude with regard to their growth prospects in the medium-to-long term.”