Nigeria: Private-sector business conditions improve robustly in April
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—produced by Stanbic IBTC Bank and S&P Global—soared to a four-month high of 53.8 in April, markedly above March’s 42.3. As a result, the index broke through the 50.0 no-change mark and signaled a robust improvement in private-sector operating conditions.
April’s upturn chiefly reflected a mild easing of the cash crisis that had dampened activity in recent months. Thanks to better access to funds, customer numbers improved, leading to an expansion of new orders and, consequently, output. However, employment levels were reduced for the third month in a row, as firms remained cautious towards hiring. Turning to prices, input inflation accelerated due to higher prices for raw materials, a weaker naira and higher wages. Conversely, firms reduced output charges for the third consecutive month in a bid to stimulate client demand. Lastly, business sentiment was among the lowest in the series’ history which began in January 2014.