Greek Manufacturing Expands for Sixth Straight Month

Greek manufacturing activity continued to expand in November with rising demand and a robust increase in new orders leading firms to hire staff at one of the fastest rates in the last 18 years, a survey showed on Friday.

Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing, which accounts for about 10 percent of the economy, rose to 52.2 from 52.1 in October, marking a sixth straight month of improvement. Readings above 50 denote expansions in activity.

Rising demand at home, coupled with increased export orders, were the main drivers behind the sector’s continued expansion.

The jobless rate soared after the country succumbed to a debt crisis from 2009, leading to a prolonged recession and multiple state bailouts. At 21.1% in the second quarter, rate is the highest in the eurozone. The government projects unemployment will fall to 18.4% next year, targeting 2.5% economic growth.

Manufacturers added workers in November, citing higher production targets as the main reason. Firms also raised their input purchases for the fifth time in as many months.

Firms continued to face sharp input price inflation on the back of higher raw material costs, but business confidence remained firmly positive in regards to prospects of growth in the coming 12 months.

The survey showed that the availability of credit was among the reasons supporting the optimistic outlook.

Source: Reuters