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Financial News: Czech Manufacturing Decline Slows In February

Czech Manufacturing Decline Slows In February

03/02/2020 - 06:50:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Czech Republic's manufacturing sector contracted at the slowest rate in nine months in February, amid softer declines in new orders and output, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The headline manufacturing purchasing managers' index, or PMI, rose to 46.5 in February from 45.2 in January. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector. The rate of contracted eased for a third straight month.

Output and new orders declined at a softer pace in February. Demand decreased at the slowest pace since January 2019. New business from abroad fell at a faster pace as a stronger koruna weakened competitiveness in external markets.

The number of workforce were reduced at a slower pace in February, but the pace of decline remained solid.

Business confidence increased in February and expectations turned positive for the first time since September last year and was the strongest for nine months.

The outbreak of coronavirus in China increased the suppliers' cost in February. Input prices rose for the first time since October, while output charges declined.

"According to 'flash' GDP estimates, the manufacturing sector had a negative impact on economic growth in the final quarter of 2019," Sian Jones, economist at IHS Markit, said.

"Our current forecast points towards broad stagnation in manufacturing production through the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period a year ago."

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