The Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria Purchasing Managers Index edged down to 50.7 in January of 2021 from 51.8 in the prior month, pointing to the smallest expansion in the country’s private sector since July.
New orders and output slowed while the rate of job shedding was solid and the second sharpest in the series. Despite this, firms were able to complete existing orders, with backlogs reducing for the eighth month running. Meantime, purchasing activity and input stocks went up.
On the price front, both input prices and output charges increased markedly, linked to material shortages, unfavourable exchange rate movements and higher wages. Looking ahead, sentiment regarding output over the next 12 months remained in positive territory, and was the strongest since last April, supported by business expansion plans and hopes of greater demand.
Meanwhile, the Stanbic Bank Ghana PMI rose to 51.2 in January of 2021 from 50.3 in the previous month. The reading pointed to the sixth straight month of expansion in the country’s private sector and at a slightly quicker pace than in the prior month.
Output, new orders and employment continued to increase. On the price front, inflationary pressures built, as both input costs and output prices rose at sharper rates than in December. Looking forward, business sentiment was broadly in line with that seen in December, above the average since the survey began in January 2014.
Lastly, The Stanbic Bank Zambia PMI fell to 47.7 in January of 2021 from 49 in the previous month. The latest reading pointed to the sharpest contraction in the country’s private sector since September after showed signs of stabilization towards the end of 2020. Both output and new orders decreased at a faster pace, mainly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, companies continued to lower their staffing levels, partly due to difficulties finding the funds to pay workers. Delivery delays also persisted, especially for imported items linked to COVID-19 travel restrictions. On the price front, cost inflation remained relatively muted despite upward pressure from ongoing currency weakness. Looking forward, business confidence remained relatively muted despite ticking up from that seen in December.