Private sector firms in Kenya raised employment for the eleventh month in a row in October highlighting an improved business confidence.
The purchasing manager’s index by Stanbic bank says output jumped the fastest over last six months in October that had a PMI reading of 54.0. The highest PMI reading was in April at 56.6.
The Stanbic Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index measures the performance of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, services, construction and retail sectors and is derived from a survey of 400 companies.
The Stanbic Bank PMI posted a reading of 54.0 in October 2018, up from 52.7 in the previous month.
This is the second highest PMI reading this year after April when the reading was 56.6. The report says companies in the agricultural sector were the most active recording output and increased orders.
The service and manufacturing sectors also registered improved business. Output went up faster than in September, due to a sharp rise of new business amid new client wins.
In addition, both new orders and export orders increased, with foreign demand growing at the joint-second quickest rate across the series history.
Employment rose at the highest pace in six months, as stronger output requirements led firms to hire additional staff.
The Stanbic Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index report further says backlogs of work went up for the third consecutive month while input and output inflation slowed slightly in October, but remained sharp overall.
Out of the four African countries surveyed by the index in October, Nigeria recorded the highest reading at 56.8 followed by Kenya and Egypt. South Africa was fourth with PMI reading 42.40.