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BUSINESS

Manufacturing sector creates jobs for second month in a row

Output expected to continue increasing to replace depleted stock

Manufacturing output in Spain increased for the third month in a row in February as output and new orders continued to climb, consultant Markit said Monday.

Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from 52.2 points in January to 52.5 points last month. A reading of over 50 points indicates expansion.

The strength of the pick-up was such that firms increased hiring for the second month in a row, the first time this has been the case since the middle of 2007 before the current crisis hit.

Stocks of both input materials and finished goods were also depleted in the month. Although the economy has pulled out of a prolonged recession, the jobless rate in Spain remains unacceptably high at 26 percent.

“Increases in backlogs of work and solid reductions in inventories suggest that firms will continue to raise production in the coming months in order to rebuild stock levels and meet outstanding business,” Markit economist Andrew Harker said.