Egypt: Non-oil private sector conditions deteriorate at softer rate in April
The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which measures business activity in the non-oil private sector, rose to a six-month high of 47.3 in April, up from March’s 46.7. Despite the uptick, the index remained below the 50.0 no-change threshold, where it has been mired since December 2020. The reading signaled a milder deterioration in private sector operating conditions from the previous month.
April’s upturn was chiefly due to output and new orders declining at the softest paces in six and four months, respectively. Weak client demand amid high inflation remained the key driver of contracting sales. Import restrictions also capped production capacity. As a consequence of falling workloads, staffing levels were reduced for a fifth consecutive month in April, but at the softest pace in said streak.
Turning to prices, while inflation remained elevated, it moderated from end-2022’s highs, thanks to a more stable Egyptian pound against the U.S. dollar. Input costs rose at the mildest pace in a year. Meanwhile, output charges rose at the softest pace since August 2022 in April in a bid to spur sales. Lastly, firms’ sentiment regarding output in the coming year plunged to the weakest on record due to heightened uncertainty amid muted demand and strong price pressures.