Greece Manufacturing Growth Strongest In 9 Years

Dollar up in Asia with China manufacturing top data bill

Robust export orders were driven by continued healthy demand from customers in Europe, the United States, China and Australia which, when combined with a brighter domestic backdrop, helped drive employment gains in the industry to a three year peak.

China's manufacturing sector remained in the expansion territory in August, fuelled by the strongest increase in new business for just over three years.

The manufacturing sector slumped to its lowest level in July - its lowest mark since February 2009 - dragged down by disruptions to business activity following the introduction of GST. "The drop in the output index indicates that manufacturing could act as a drag on the economy in the third quarter, with exports dampening order book growth". A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while one below 50 points toward contraction.

Sustained growth in new orders led firms to expand their production schedules again in August. Only Spain saw its rate of improvement slow during August.

Japan's economy expanded by a much stronger-than-expected annualized rate of 4.0 percent in April-June, the fastest in more than two years. "Having endured years of economic malaise, the latest data will be music to the ears of many concerned with Greek manufacturing", said IHS Markit economist Alex Gill.

"Today's data confirm that United Kingdom manufacturers are looking beyond the Brexit negotiations to strengthening market opportunities in Europe and beyond, with the acceleration in manufacturing activity in August helping to provide some welcome offset to sluggish consumer demand at home", added Ms Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation.

Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, said the manufacturing sector was in "good health" despite concerns over Brexit, handing further evidence for policymakers calling for an interest rate hike.

Despite the strong performance in August, there could still be clouds ahead.

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