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Greek manufacturing shrinks in August, orders fall eases -PMI

ATHENS, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Greek manufacturing activity contracted more slowly in August, with a smaller decline in output and new orders, although the coronavirus pandemic still weighed on domestic and foreign client demand, a survey showed on Tuesday.

IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing, which accounts for about 10% of the Greek economy, rose slightly to 49.4 in August from 48.6 in July. Readings above 50.0 indicate that activity is growing.

“The Greek manufacturing sector continued to slowly climb towards a recovery, following the knock to demand conditions seen in July,” said IHS Markit economist Sian Jones.

A challenging season for tourism -- a key source of income for Greece -- and COVID-19 restrictions continued to weigh on both production and new sales, Jones said.

But producers increased employment for the first time since February as they continued to resume operations following temporary shutdowns due to the pandemic.

New business fell at a slower pace and business expectations improved to a six-month high as firms saw new client acquisitions and stronger customer demand in the coming year.

Factory gate prices continued to fall as firms used more discounting in an attempt to boost sales and attract new clients but the decrease was the slowest in six months.

On the price front, input costs rose for a second consecutive month in August. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Catherine Evans)