MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s manufacturing sector contracted for the eighth month in a row in January, although at a slower pace than in December and with the output falling at the weakest rate in eight months while business confidence improved, a survey showed on Monday.
Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of manufacturing companies rose to 48.5 last month from 47.4 in December. It has remained below the 50 line separating growth from contraction since June.
“Firms subsequently remained in a defensive mindset, shedding jobs at a rate unprecedented over the past six years, whilst simultaneously cutting their purchasing and inventories as they await a definitive uplift in demand,” IHS Markit Economics Director Paul Smith said in a statement.
“With that in mind, business expectations data provide some hope for better times ahead: confidence about the future hit its highest level since last June as firms signaled positive intentions for investment and expected sales growth over the next 12 months.”
The output index for manufacturing rose to 48.5 after its sharpest dive in over 6-1/2 years to 45.4 in December.
(Reporting by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Toby Chopra)