ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek factory activity continued to expand in November with momentum strengthening as production and new orders increased at a faster pace with firms adding staff, a survey showed on Monday.
Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for manufacturing, which accounts for about 10 percent of the Greek economy, rose to 54.0 in November from 53.1 in October, indicating the biggest improvement in operating conditions since May.
Readings above the 50 mark denote expansions in activity.
“Bucking the trend seen across the euro zone as a whole, (Greek) goods producers registered a stronger rise in output and new orders,” said Sian Jones, IHS Markit economist.
Production increased at the quickest rate in eight months as a result of robust client demand and strong new order volumes.
Manufacturers attributed the increased order flow to stronger domestic demand, linked to increased tourism-related activity.
But new business from abroad grew at a weaker pace.
“Greece’s manufacturing sector was not exempt from the global slowdown in export demand. New business from abroad expanded at the slowest pace in the current 14-month sequence of growth,” Jones said.
Firms expanded their workforce numbers at the fastest pace in three months in November, with the pace of job creation one of the quickest since data collection began in 1999, the survey showed.
On the price front, input price inflation remained sharp with firms attributing increased cost burdens to higher raw materials and fuel prices. Still, stronger client demand allowed producers to partly pass on higher input costs to clients.
“Firms were encouraged by greater domestic demand to increase output charges during the month following a slight fall in October,” Jones said.
Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Toby Chopra