Italy: Manufacturing PMI stable in February
The IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) remained at January’s 58.3 in February. Consequently, the index remained significantly above the 50-threshold, signaling a strong improvement in business conditions from the previous month.
The reading was marked by quicker expansions of factory output. Consequently, firms increased their purchases to meet the material needs for higher production. In addition, firms replenished their lines with new staff to ease pressure on capacity. That said, the expansion in book volumes softened, albeit still rising sharply. Moreover, issues sourcing raw materials suppressed production and drove backlogs up. On the price front, costs rose sharply due to increased material and energy costs, which translated into higher output prices in turn.
Lewis Cooper, economist at IHS Markit, commented on the outlook:
“Strong sales and retreating inflationary pressures pushed business confidence to a five-month high in February, with goods producers hopeful that demand will further improve in the coming months and output will continue to increase.”