Kenya: PMI rises in December
Private sector activity picked up in December, reflected by a rise in the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit and Stanbic Bank. The index rose to 53.6 in December from 53.1 in November, moving further above the critical 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction, signaling a slight improvement in business conditions. December’s reading marked one full calendar year that the index has remained above the crucial mark.
The latest reading reflected sharp increases in both output and new orders, fueled by higher demand in both domestic and overseas markets. Despite the upturns, backlogs of work fell for the first time since July with firms ramping up their staff hire slightly to deal with the increase in new business. On the price front, overall input prices rose on higher transportation and food costs, along with a hike in wages, although the climb in prices was softer than in November despite the festive season. Firms raised output prices in response to pass the burden of cost-adjustment onto consumers.