Kenya’s private sector activity has fallen, report says

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Kenya has recorded a dip in its private sector activity according to the latest Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

The report states that Kenya’s overall PMI reading fell from 54.6 percent recorded in the month of August to 52.7 percent recorded in September. It also attributes the slower output levels to increasing energy costs and the introduction of new taxation rates.

“September data signaled a slower improvement in business conditions in Kenya’s private sector, with the latest expansion being the weakest in the current 10-month phase of growth,” reads the Stanbic and Markit report.

“Slowdowns in output and new order growth were key factors behind the lower headline PMI figure. In terms of inflation, price pressures sharpened amid reports of higher taxation and fuel bills.”

According to the survey, the 52.7 per cent figure indicated an improvement in business conditions across the private sector in September, the tenth month in a row that this has been the case. The rate of growth was however the slowest in the aforementioned sequence.

The index consequently states that the slow rate of growth is as a result of higher working costs that the private sector has experienced. This has facilitated the increase in the selling prices of goods and services.

The report also revealed that private companies are creating more job opportunities but at a slow rate because of the steep increment in the costs of productions.

PMI readings above 50 signal an improvement in business conditions on the previous month, while readings below 50 show deterioration. Detailed PMI data are only available under licence from IHS Markit and customers need to apply for a license.

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