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Dutch Factory Sector Contracts Further In April

5/1/2012 1:20 AM ET

Activity in the Dutch manufacturing sector decreased at a slightly faster rate in April, data from a survey by Markit Economics and NEVI showed Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector dropped to 49 in April from 49.6 in March, hitting the lowest level in three months. A PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector, while one above suggests growth.

New orders received by Dutch manufacturers decreased markedly in April, especially from the domestic market. However, new orders from foreign clients increased for a fourth successive month.

Backlogs of work decreased to the greatest extent in just under three years, resulting in non-replacement of leaving employees and a decline overall employment.

Input prices continued to rise markedly and hit a ten-month high in April, driven by increased energy, plastics, oil and steel prices. Consequently, manufacturers raised their output charges, though only marginally, as competitive pressures continued to undermine pricing power.

by RTT Staff Writer

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