Greece's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) recovered in March to 45.4 points from 42.8 points in February and January 2011, to its highest level since January 2010. The index, compiled by Markit, however showed a steady worsening of business conditions in the Greek manufacturing sector.
Weak demand for Greek manufactured products led to lower new orders during March, with new orders falling both in the domestic and external markets.
Unemployment in the sector showed signs of slowing down in March, recording the lowest rate of decline in the last 14 months.
Import prices continued growing in the month to the highest levels since 2008, reflecting higher oil and oil product prices. However, Greek manufacturers cut their prices to meet increasing competition in the market.
Inventories fell steeply in March.
The purchasing managers' index is measuring business activity in the manufacturing sector. Readings above 50 indicate a growing economy, while readings below 50 a shrinking economy.