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Greece Manufacturing Activity Plummets To Near 5-year Low

Greece's manufacturing sector deteriorated sharply at the fastest pace in five years, amid a fall in production and new orders that were mainly driven by the coronavirus outbreak, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The manufacturing purchasing managers' index, or PMI, fell to 42.5 in March from 56.2 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Production declined at the fastest pace since the debt crisis in July 2015.

The new business contracted robustly in March, as the export partners and domestic clients reduced or cancelled the orders due to COVID-19 outbreak, leading to the decline of total new sales at the quickest pace since August 2015.

The number of workers were reduced due to the COVID-19 outbreak in March and firms cleared their outstanding business with smaller workforce.

On the price front, input costs rose at the slowest pace in March, while the selling prices declined.

"Growth momentum across the Greek manufacturing sector was swiftly brought to a halt in March, as the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and emergency government measures to protect the public reduced production and client demand markedly," Sian Jones, economist at IHS Markit, said.

"That said, production is expected to decline during the second quarter, with the contraction set to intensify as the year progresses amid uncertainty and global factory shutdowns."

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