Egypt: Non-oil private sector expands for the first time in eight months in April
The Emirates NBD Egypt Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which measures business activity in the non-oil private sector, rose to 50.8 in April from 49.9 in March, coming above the 50-threshold that separates expansion from contraction for the first time in eight months.
The increase in April was driven by the first rise in output since November 2017. Concurrently, new orders increased as domestic sales climbed, although sales from abroad decreased. Daniel Richards, MENA economist at Emirates NBD, said, “firms appear to be shoring up domestic demand by price discounting—output prices dipped back below 50.0, the third time this year they have declined.” To keep up with higher domestic demand, input buying was lifted in April and businesses took on more employees for the first time in eight months; backlogs of work still saw a slight increase, however. Looking at future output, businesses became more positive about prospects, with some citing greater tourism and brighter export prospects as reasons behind their optimism. Output expectations were the second strongest in 12 months.