Greece's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 54.2 points in May from 56.6 in April, extending the current growth period to two years, Markit said in a report released on Monday.
The report said that despite the fact that the production growth rate weakened in May, recording a three-month low, it remained strong and markedly above historic average rates, reflecing higher demand both from domestic and foreign markets. Manufacturing companies reported strong growth of new works in the month, with the seasonally-adjusted index rising slightly above the April reading and remaining above the long-term average rate.
The companies attributed this development to higher demand from domestic and foreign markets, as new export orders rose strongly for the 20th month in a row. Price pressures weakened in May while the growth rate of inflow prices slowed, recording the weakest rate since July 2016. Higher prices reflected rising raw materials' and transport prices, with manufacturing companies rolling over this pressure to their customers through higher factory gate prices for the fourth consecutive month.
Employment levels rose further in May, at one of the fastest rates ever recorded, with the volume of pending works falling slightly. Inventories shrank further while purchasing activity rose strongly in the month. Finally, business confidence among manufacturers was very positive in May.
The PMI is a composite index measuring business activity in the manufacturing sector. Readings above 50 indicate a growing sector and readings below 50 a shrinking sector.