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Financial News: Czech Manufacturing Growth Slowest Since October 2020

Czech Manufacturing Growth Slowest Since October 2020

06/01/2022 - 10:15:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Czech Republic's manufacturing sector expanded at the weakest pace in just over one-and-a-half years in May amid a sharp fall in new orders, survey data from S&P Global showed on Wednesday.

The purchasing managers' index, or PMI, for the manufacturing sector fell to a 19-month low of 52.3 in May from 54.4 in April. However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Weak client demand was attributed to the fall in new orders for the third straight month in May and at the fastest pace since June 2020, due to challenges in the automotive industry and uncertainty among clients amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

Cost burdens faced by goods producers rose at one of the fastest paces on record in May, linked to increased prices for fuel, energy, transportation, steel and packaging. However, the rate of inflation eased to a three-month low.

As a result, firms continued to hike output prices and the rate of inflation was the third sharpest on record.

Employment growth was the softest in seven months due to weak demand conditions. Nonetheless, the slight upturn in employment helped to ease capacity pressures.

Stocks of finished goods grew for the first time for two years as delayed shipments pushed inventories up.

Manufacturers' views on output expectations for the next twelve months remained upbeat in May, although concerns about unstable supply chains and the war in Ukraine hampered optimism.

"Amid some signs that inflation may be peaking, it is hoped that recent hikes in interest rates by the Czech National Bank will help inflationary pressures abate, Siân Jones, senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said.

"That said, Czech manufacturers face substantial headwinds through the rest of 2022 which are likely to dent growth momentum further," the economist added.

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