World Economy

Greek Factory Activity at Nine-Year Peak

Greek Factory Activity at Nine-Year Peak  Greek Factory Activity at Nine-Year Peak

Growth in Greek manufacturing activity accelerated in August for the third consecutive month as rising demand at home and abroad led firms to add jobs and increase production, a survey showed on Friday.

Markit’s purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing, which accounts for about 10% of the economy, rose to 52.2 from 50.5 in July, its highest point since August 2008. Readings above 50 denote expansion in activity, Reuters reported.

The pick up in growth was driven by a solid increase in new business, the sharpest since May 2014, with export orders also rising for the first time in a year. “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.

To keep pace with rising client demand, companies increased staffing numbers for the fourth straight month in August, at the most marked pace in more than 17 years.

“Underlying the expansion were robust increases in new business, contributing to the sharpest round of job creation since Jan. 2000. This will buoy hopes for a reduction in the country’s high unemployment,” Gill said.

Meanwhile, Greece wants nothing more than to avoid another bailout—which means it needs debt relief. And so far, that’s the sticking point, CNBC reported.

“There is now light at the end of the tunnel,” Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said hopefully in June. After months of wrangling, the European Union and International Monetary Fund had just agreed to release more rescue funds to the perennially troubled nation, bringing the total from its third bailout alone to €40.2 billion ($47.75 billion).

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