Manufacturing 'steady' says Swedbank

Latvia's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a useful economic indicator, rose from 53.3 in September to 53.5 in October according to data released Monday, suggesting the manufacturing sector is on an even keel. 

"The fourth quarter began with a solid growth rate, according to a three-month moving average. Moreover, the main index has been in the growth zone for two and a half years," said Swedbank in response to the data.

"The sub-index for new orders fell by 1.3 points to 53.2 in October. A three-month moving average indicates steady order growth, and the sub-index has stayed above the 50 mark since January 2013. In October domestic orders improved. The index for the export market was also in the growth zone, though at a lower level. The index for order backlogs reached 55.4 in October (52.5 in September)," Swedbank said.

"Both the sub-index for actual production and index for planned production rose during the month. Actual production, whose sub-index was 56.5, has risen for nearly three years and production plans (62.5) signal continued expansion in the next half year. The sub-index for employment fell by 2.1 points to 53.4, but the underlying trend points to increased hiring needs.

"Despite that the index for prices of suppliers’ commodity and intermediate goods rose by 1.8 points to 42.4 in October, prices continued to fall. The decline was again broad-based, with metal prices (steel) dropping for the fourth consecutive month," Swedbank concluded

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