Greece’s factory sector has finally returned to growth for the first time in more than four years, fuelling hopes that the country’s long slump could be easing.
A survey released on Monday showed that Greek manufacturers finally reported their first expansion since August 2009 in January, helping Europe’s manufacturing sector enjoy its strongest expansion in almost three years.
Markit, the data provider, reported that Greek factories recorded an increase in new orders and higher exports last month, although manufacturers continued to trim their workforces. Economists said the long-awaited recovery in Greek manufacturing boosted hopes the overall economy will finally stop shrinking this year – amid reports that the eurozone is close to agreeing a third bailout loan for Greece, worth up to €20bn (£16bn).
The area’s largest economy, Germany, led the new year’s manufacturing march but Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland and Greece also expanded. France, however, continued to lag behind the rest of the eurozone.
via The Guardian
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