Greek Manufacturing PMI further declined in March to 46.7 from 47.7 in February, Markit Economics reported on Monday. As Markit notes,

“Operating conditions in the Greek manufacturing sector deteriorated further during March. The downturn was driven by another sharp decrease in new orders, which in turn contributed to a further drop in output. As a result of lower production requirements, firms reduced their staffing numbers and input buying. Concurrently, margins continued to be squeezed amid further strong input cost inflation and a fall in average selling prices. Nevertheless, firms maintained a positive outlook with regard to output growth over the coming 12 months”.

Stalled bailout negotiations weigh on the economy

Markit’s Alex Gill said on the PMI data:

“March data signalled an ongoing downturn in the Greek manufacturing sector, as output and new orders continued to fall and at sharper rates. In turn, this led to a further drop in staffing numbers, thereby compounding the country’s stubbornly high level of unemployment. On a more positive note, firms remained confident that output would expand over the coming 12 months. A number of panellists predicted an improvement in economic conditions. Key to this would be a positive conclusion to the current bailout negotiations which could help to firm up client demand.”

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