Eurozone manufacturing business conditions continued to improve in March, according to a report released Friday.
At 55.4, the seasonally adjusted RBS/NTC Manufacturing PMI noted an improvement in the health of the sector for the twenty-first consecutive month, but the rate of growth eased slightly to the slowest since February 2006.
Further strong growth of production was signaled in March and production also increased in response to a jump in new orders.
Backlogs of outstanding work rose for the 21st month running. Rising backlogs indicate persistent capacity limitations in the manufacturing sector.
Supplier lead-times continued to weaken in March, with slower average delivery times for 22 successive months. Suppliers have continued to struggle to meet rising demand for raw materials from manufacturers.
The rate of job creation was identical to that seen in February and only slightly weaker than January’s six-year peak.
Average input prices increased for the 21st successive month, with the rate of increase gathering pace as price hikes for a wide variety of raw materials and manufactured inputs were reported. The rate of inflation nevertheless remained below last year’s peak, due principally to slower energy cost inflation.
Output prices rose for the 20th successive month as manufacturers sought to pass higher costs on to customers. The rate of growth eased fractionally on that seen in February, but remained elevated.
The complete report can be reviewed by clicking here.