Czech business confidence continued to improve in March according to a survey of purchasing managers in industry.
Higher production, new incoming orders, and volume of purchases all rose with employment stable after four previous months of shedding jobs, according to the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) compiled by financial information company Markit.
The monthly confidence index rose to a six-month high of 52.1 points, continuing the improvement already registered in February. Prior to that month, the sentiment had been negative for three successive months.
The biggest boost in March was given by the strengthening of new business orders. Industrial output rose by the highest amount in the previous six months with the backlog of work increasing for only the second time in the previous five months.
‘This is positive data with an improvement recorded right across all of the PMI components.’
In spite of rising costs from inputs, especially fuel, manufacturers continued to curb price rises of products going through their factory gates with the price of finished goods falling marginally in March.
“This is positive data with an improvement recorded right across all of the PMI components,” said HSBC Central and Eastern Europe economist Agata Urbanska.
“On balance this data suggests a bottoming-out of the negative economic trends observed through 2011. We expect some consolidation to follow,” she added.