Operating conditions across the Kenyan private sector improved at a solid rate according to January survey data by StanBic Bank.
Although the latest Purchasing Managers’ index reading was slightly lower than the prior month, it was nonetheless the second-highest figure in just over a year.
The Purchasing Managers’ index fell slightly to 52.9 in January from 53.0 in December.
The latest survey by Stanbic Bank says the growth was buoyed by a strong purchasing among Kenyans despite a hike in commodity prices.
Underpinning the improvement in the health of the private sector was a steep rise in business activity due to new markets for firms.
Similarly, the upturn in new export business was extended further and the pace of increase was solid despite easing from the prior month.
Increase in raw materials especially fuel and wages saw the rise in commodity prices as manufacturers passed extra costs to the consumers.
For the second successive month, average prices charged increased in January.
Amid reports of improved demand conditions, private sector firms were reportedly able to pass on higher input costs to clients.
Moreover, the rate of charge inflation quickened and was the sharpest since December 2016.
Reflecting the recent trend in output, purchasing activity increased steeply in January.
The rate of growth in buying accelerated to the strongest in over a year.