Italy: PMI climbs to over six-year high in April
May 3, 2017
The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from 55.7 in March to 56.2 in April and marked the highest reading in over six years. The index thus moved further above the 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in the manufacturing sector.
April’s result mainly reflected faster growth in new orders and output, which expanded at the fastest rate in six years. New orders grew for the eighth consecutive month, with the pace of growth recording the best reading since February 2011. One factor behind this acceleration was the fastest expansion in new export orders in almost two years. This translated into a robust rate of job creation, which in turn helped companies to reduce the backlog of work. On the downside, manufacturers’ optimism regarding the outlook for activity for the year ahead declined somewhat. Regarding price developments, input prices continued to rise, albeit at a slower pace, leading to a further rise in output prices.
Phil Smith, Economist at IHS Markit, added that, “the manufacturing sector’s recent upturn has continued to pick up speed [...]. Businesses remained firmly in hiring mode, following up the near-record increase in employment seen in March with another marked expansion at the start of the second quarter.”