Austria’s manufacturing sector upturn gathered momentum in March, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Monday.
The UniCredit Bank Austria Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 63.4 in March from 58.3 in February. This was the second-highest reading in over 22 years of data collection, behind December 2017’s 64.3.
The improvement was driven by rising inflows of new orders. Higher export orders were widely reported, with the German market highlighted as a key growth area.
Production increased at the sharpest rate over three years. Employment increased for the third straight month, with the pace of growth accelerated to the quickest seen since July 2018.
On the price front, the survey showed that the rate of cost inflation accelerated for the fifth month running to its second-highest in the series history. Due to strong demand, goods producers were often able to pass on at least part of the burden of higher costs to customers.
Further, the survey showed that Austrian manufacturers remained strongly optimistic about the outlook for activity over the coming year. Moreover, expectations improved to the second-highest since this series began in July 2012.