Hungary's Sept PMI falls to 49.6 -publisher

BUDAPEST, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Hungary's seasonally-adjusted Purchasing Managers' Index HUPMI=ECI fell to 49.6 in September from 57.8 in August, the Association of Logistics, Purchasing and Inventory Management (MLBKT) said on Monday.

It said the September reading came in below both the long-term monthly average of 52.6 and and an average reading of 51.3 in the same month of the past three years. The 50-point mark separates growth in manufacturing from contraction.

"Respondents reported less favourable developments compared with the previous month," the index publisher said. "After the August reading that signalled further expansion, the index is lower and now signals a moderate contraction."

Production volumes eased from August and fell below the 50-point mark, posting its lowest reading for the month since 1995, it said. New orders declined, but remained above the 50-point mark, posting the second-highest monthly reading since 1995.

Lead times grew from August, and despite some easing in negative trends, the index posted its weakest September reading since 1995, it said. Purchase prices rose further, signalling a strong and sustained increase, it said.

The export index fell from August, dipping below the 50-point watershed. The import index also declined from August, but still showed expansion.
Reporting by Gergely Szakacs and Krisztina Than

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