Manufacturing declines and sentiment worsens
All estimates for 2017 had pointed to an economic expansion in Greece, but data since the start of the year have revealed the opposite, with manufacturing, economic sentiment and consumer confidence all heading south.
The manufacturing sector in Greece continued its decline for a sixth consecutive month in February, according to the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) compiled by Markit. Its reading was at 47.7 points last month, below the neutral level of 50 points, although it was somewhat higher than January’s 46.6 reading.
According to Markit, “as a result of the reduced production demand, companies cut down on staff during February, reducing employment levels for a third consecutive month.”
“Conditions in the manufacturing sector continued to deteriorate in Feb- ruary. The underlying causes behind the latest downturn follow an all too familiar narrative, as waning domestic and foreign demand continued to weigh on output, leading to further job losses,” explained Markit economist Alex Gill, who is responsible for the PMI survey. Manufacturers also faced higher raw material costs last month.
The economic sentiment index recorded by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) revealed a further deterioration in Greeks’ outlook for the next few months, as its reading came to 92.9 points in February from 95.1 points in January. In its monthly survey IOBE also recorded a decline in consumer confidence, which has dropped close to the level recorded last April, the lowest in the last three-and-a-half years.