Kenya private sector activity jumps in January – PMI

Kenya private sector activity jumps in January - PMI
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A motorist drives on the controlled section during the construction of the Nairobi Expressway, undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis, along Uhuru highway in Nairobi, Kenya August

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s private sector activity rose for a third consecutive month in January, helped by improved business in agriculture, manufacturing, services and wholesale and retail sectors, a survey showed on Friday.

The S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) went up to 52.0 in January from 51.6 a month earlier. Readings above 50.0 signal growth in business activity, while those below that point to a contraction.

“For the second month running, construction was the only monitored sector to see a decline in sales, contrasting with rises in agriculture, manufacturing, services and wholesale & retail,” S&P Global said in comments accompanying the survey.

However, the survey’s respondents were concerned about inflationary pressures due to higher taxes and a weaker shilling, it said.

Inflation was 9.0% year-on-year in January from 9.1% a month earlier, the statistics office said. The figure is still outside the government’s preferred band of 2.5-7.5%.

Kenya’s shilling, which hit a series of fresh record lows last year in a trend that has carried over into 2023, closed last year down 9% versus the dollar.

“Persistently high inflation has raised concerns that price pressures will remain elevated and weigh on economic activity and consumption for some time to come,” Mulalo Madula, an economist at Stanbic Bank, which is involved in the survey, said.


Source: Reuters