Kenya: PMI ticks up in December
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—produced by IHS Markit and Stanbic Bank—came in at 53.3 in December, up from November’s 53.2 reading and thus climbing further above the 50-threshold that indicates an improvement in business conditions.
New orders rose sharply in December amid increased referrals from clients as did new export orders on stronger demand from European markets. Meanwhile, production among Kenyan firms only increased marginally due to cash flow problems and heavy rains, with the latter slowing down delivery times. Although firms raised staff levels due to a rise in backlogs, they did so at the slowest rate in seven months. On the price front, input cost inflation jumped to a four-month high, while output prices rose for the first time since September due to firms’ increased cost burdens. Lastly, firms’ expectations of activity in the year ahead improved somewhat in December, after sinking to a near three-year low in November.