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Czech Manufacturing Growth Lowest Since November 2020

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The Czech Republic’s manufacturing sector growth eased to the slowest since November 2020, mainly due to contraction in output and new orders, survey data from S&P Global showed on Friday.

The purchasing managers’ index, or PMI, for the manufacturing sector fell to 54.7 in March from 56.5 in February.

Economists had forecast a reading of 55.3. A PMI reading above 50 signals growth in the sector.

Output declined for the first time since October, which led to weaker client demand, staff shortages, raw material scarcity and growing uncertainty as the war in Ukraine continues.

New orders decreased in March and new export bookings from abroad deteriorated at the fastest pace since July 2020.

Cost burden increased in March, as the rate of inflation rose to 2021’s record. The rate of charged inflation was the second-sharpest on record.

Suppliers’ lead time lengthened in March to the greatest level for three months.

Firms output expectation dropped to the lowest in twenty-two months in March. The Russia-Ukraine war and rising operational expenses eroded sentiment.

The rate of job creation was the slowest since October 2021 and backlogs of work increased in March.

Stocks of finished goods declined at the weakest rate since February last year.

“Inflationary pressures and geopolitical uncertainty led to a reduce appetite for spending among both domestic and foreign customers, with some firms highlighting the loss of key export markets in Russia and Ukraine,” Sian Jones, senior economist at S&P Global, said.

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