Egypt: Non-oil sector PMI climbs to highest reading in seven months in March
The Emirates NBD Egypt Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 49.9 in March from 48.2 in February, representing the highest reading since August 2018. The index therefore rose to just below the 50-threshold that separates contraction from expansion in the non-oil private sector.
The PMI rose in March because of a rise in new orders for the first time in seven months, as businesses noted stronger domestic demand and increased tourism. New export orders, however, continued to decline. In response to increased orders, the output decrease recorded in February eased significantly in March, almost swinging to an expansion. On the employment front, headcounts were cut for the sixth month running in March, although businesses were still able to make progress on shifting through backlogs of work. In terms of prices, input inflation moderated significantly in March, although output charges increased slightly. Looking ahead, businesses’ expectations of the future operating environment improved to a 10-month high in March.