MADRID, (Reuters) - - Growth in Spain’s manufacturing sector eased slightly in March from a month earlier, a survey showed on Tuesday, although strong new orders helped fuel its continued expansion.
Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of manufacturing companies stood at 54.8 in March, down from 56.0 in February. The index has held above the 50 line separating growth from contraction every month since November 2013.
While the sector’s growth was less in March than a month earlier, the first quarter still marked a strong start to the year, IHS Associate Director Andrew Harker said.
“The slowdown in the rate of output growth led to one of the strongest increases in outstanding business ever recorded, suggesting that firms will have to expand production to work through this backlog in coming months,” Harker said.
The manufacturing output index slipped to 54.6 in March from 56.6 a month earlier, Markit said, the lowest reading since August.
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Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Catherine Evans