Nigeria: PMI dips at the end of 2019 but remains positive
The Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 56.8 in December from 57.7 in November, which had marked the highest reading in 17 months. Despite the decline, the PMI remained well above the 50-threshold that separates improvement from deterioration in business conditions, pointing to solid growth in the private sector.
December’s dip largely reflected softer growth in business activity and new business, though they remained solid amid strengthening demand. Meanwhile, efforts to keep up with workloads led firms to raise their staffing levels, with the latest addition quickening to a year-and-a-half high. On the price front, input cost inflation accelerated again, stoked by the land border closure and higher labor costs. Consequently, firms hiked selling prices, though to a slightly lesser extent than in November. Lastly, business confidence improved to a near one-year high, propped up by the positive expectation of business expansion.