Nigeria: PMI dips to seven-month low in February
The Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slid from 55.9 in January to 55.0 in February, the lowest reading since July 2019. Despite the dip, the PMI remained well above the 50-threshold that separates improvement from deterioration in business conditions, pointing to solid growth in the private sector.
February’s dip largely reflected softer growth in output and new orders, though remained fairly solid nonetheless amid continued strong client demand. Meanwhile, firms raised their staffing levels at a broadly similar pace than the previous month, while backlogs of work fell for the first time in 10 months. On the price front, input cost inflation reached a 16-month high, fueled by the VAT hike, which prompted companies to raise selling prices sharply as a result. Lastly, business confidence rose to a near three-year high on positive prospects for expanding operations in the year ahead.