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Austrian manufacturing PMI surges to record high in December

Staff Writer | December 28, 2017
December PMI data from Unicredit Bank Austria signalled the strongest performance of the Austrian manufacturing sector since the survey began in October 1998.
Austrian manufacturing
Austria   UniCredit Bank Austria Manufacturing PMI
Growth of output, new orders, purchasing, employment and backlogs were all the fastest registered to date.

Input price inflation accelerated to an 80-month record, although output prices rose more slowly than in November.

Finally, manufacturers exhibited record sentiment looking ahead to expected output growth in 2018.

The headline UniCredit Bank Austria Manufacturing PMI is a composite single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance.

It is derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases.

Any figure greater than 50.0 indicates overall improvement of the sector.

The PMI rose strongly in December to 64.3, from 61.9 in November.

The latest figure was the highest in the survey history by some margin, signalling a rapid improvement in business conditions.

At 33 months, the current sequence of positive PMI readings was also a survey record.

Three of the five components of the PMI were at record highs during the month – output, new orders and employment, while suppliers’ delivery times lengthened by a near-record amount.

Austrian manufacturers reported stronger intakes of new work in December than in any other period since the survey began over 19 years ago.

The UniCredit Bank Austria Manufacturing PMI latest data signalled surging demand from both domestic and export markets, with the latter expanding at a rate that matched the survey record set in February 2011.

Production also increased at a record pace in November, driven by the intermediate and investment goods sectors.

Despite this boost to output, backlogs of work increased at the fastest rate since the series began in September 2002.

Higher backlogs partly reflected delays and shortages in the supply chain.

With the volume of inputs ordered by manufacturers increasing at a record pace during the month, suppliers’ delivery times lengthened by more than in any other period except August.

To address capacity constraints, Austrian manufacturers raised employment at a survey-record pace in December.

Input cost inflation accelerated to the strongest since April 2011 in December, linked to higher oil and raw material prices.

Output charges also rose strongly, albeit at a slower rate than in November.

Subsequently, the gap between the input and output price indices was the largest observed since February 2011, suggesting pressure on margins.