Egypt: Private-sector PMI improves to 23-month high in July; conditions deteriorate slightly
The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which measures business activity in the non-oil private sector, inched up to a 23-month high of 49.2 in July, up from June’s 49.1. 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.
July’s improvement largely reflected output contracting at the softest rate since September 2021. Similarly, new business declined at the slowest pace in over a year and a half. Market demand reportedly improved, although some firms continued to see elevated prices restrain consumer spending. The softer decline in sales allowed firms to retain staff, leaving employment levels largely unchanged in the month.
With regard to prices, the weak exchange rate of the Egyptian pound against the U.S. dollar drove a mild acceleration in input cost inflation. Despite that, selling prices rose at the softest pace since April last year, amid firms’ ongoing efforts to stimulate sales. Lastly, sentiment in the sector improved from the prior month, although businesses remained downbeat regarding production for the year ahead.