Fac­tory ac­tiv­ity grows for sec­ond straight month

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­ity ex­panded in July for the sec­ond straight month, driven by a rise in staffing num­bers and out­put, a sur­vey showed yes­ter­day. Markit’s Pur­chas­ing Man­agers’ In­dex (PMI) for man­u­fac­tur­ing, which ac­counts for about 10 per­cent of the econ­omy, stood at 50.5 in July, un­changed from June. Read­ings above 50 de­note ex­pan­sion in ac­tiv­ity. Com­pa­nies hired more staff for the third suc­ces­sive month in July, lead­ing the sec­tor to­ward its sec­ond suc­ces­sive rise in out­put. The rate of ex­pan­sion, though slight over­all, was the most marked since De­cem­ber 2015. Busi­ness con­fi­dence was also a pos­i­tive fea­ture of the sur­vey, hit­ting a 39-month high. “Op­ti­mism was likely buoyed by the on­go­ing resur­gence in the Euro­pean econ­omy, and will help boost in­vest­ment spend­ing go­ing for­ward,” Markit econ­o­mist Alex Gill said. “The coun­try’s re­turn to fi­nan­cial mar­kets in July may also pro­vide some as­sis­tance on this front, at least in the short term.” While July’s read­ing sig­naled only the sec­ond im­prove­ment in Greek man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor con­di­tions since Au­gust last year, the rate of growth was mar­ginal, Markit said. “While any read­ing above 50.0 is wel­come news at this junc­ture, the rate of growth re­mained pre­car­i­ous,” said Gill. “In­deed, with to­tal new or­ders stag­nat­ing and for­eign de­mand falling fur­ther, it is con­ceiv­able that the head­line fig­ure could slip back in Au­gust.”

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