Austria’s manufacturing sector continued to contract in March at a faster pace, as output fell sharply, survey figures from Markit Economics showed Monday.

The Bank Austria manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, or PMI, dropped to 47.7 in March from 48.7 in the previous month.

Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector. The latest reading was the lowest in four months and one of the weakest over the past two-and-a-half years and reflective of a marked downturn in the sector

Both output and new orders declined notably in March. The latest fall in output was the second strongest in two year, while new orders fell at a little-changed rate from previous month’s marked pace.

New export orders also dropped in March, partly influenced by the increased competition.

Manufacturers continue to reduce their staffing level in March and the rate of job creation was the strongest in this year so far.

On the price front, input prices decreased at weaker rate than from the previous month, due to increased import prices resulting from a weak euro. Firms cut their selling charges to the least marked extent since August of last year.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –