Czech manufacturing activity growth eases in April but still remains robust

By bne IntelliNews May 4, 2015

Czech manufacturers experienced improving business conditions in April, continuing a trend that has lasted for two years now, a survey compiled by financial information company Markit Economics for HSBC showed on May 4. The pace of expansion, however, was the slowest in the past four months, reflecting weaker gains in output, new orders and employment. Still, growth rates remained strong in the context of historic survey data, helping the country continue to lead in the region, ahead of Hungary and Poland.

The purchasing managers index (PMI) for the Czech manufacturing industry fell to 54.7 points in April from 56.1 a month earlier. The index, which monitors output, new orders, employment, stock levels and prices in the goods-producing sector, stayed above the 50-point mark that signals expansion of the sector for the 24th straight month in April.

New orders rose for the 23rd month in a row in April, albeit the rate of growth was the weakest so far in 2015. Yet, it remained solid, helped by a stronger rise in foreign orders on increased demand from EU markets as well as non-EU markets including Australia and the US, Markit said.

Improving new business inflows helped output in the sector increase for the 25th straight month in April. The volume of outstanding business in the sector rose further, though at a slower rate than in March.

Employment in the Czech goods-producing sector has been rising since May 2013. Price pressures intensified in April with input price inflation hitting a 13-month high and output prices rising for the first time in four months.

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