Ghana: PMI slips in January
The Stanbic IBTC Bank Ghana Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell from a six-month high of 52.3 points in December to 51.6 in January. Nevertheless, the index remained above the critical 50-point threshold that separates improvement from deterioration in Ghanaian business conditions.
December’s reading reflected cooling output and new business growth. Despite increasing for the fourth consecutive month, new orders expanded just marginally in December. In a similar fashion, output growth decelerated in December, and was chiefly behind a marked increase in backlogs of work, which rose at the fastest clip in the survey’s history. Increasing backlogs prompted companies to raise their staffing levels, with job creation hitting a six-month high in the surveyed month.
Meanwhile, inflationary pressures remained elevated at the beginning of 2019. An uptick in input cost inflation, driven in part by higher staff costs, translated into modest output price inflation. Lastly, business sentiment rose in the surveyed month as companies anticipated strong output growth amid improving economic conditions.
Commenting on the report, Andrew Harker, an associate director at IHS Markit, noted:
“Although rates of growth in output and new orders eased in January, the start of the year still saw a continuation of the recent recovery in the Ghanaian private sector […]. A record rise in backlogs of work suggests that companies will expand output again in February in order to get back on top of workloads.”