Private firms add new jobs at fastest rate since November 2019
Private sector firms added new jobs at the fastest rate since November 2019 according to new data from the just published Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers Index (PMI).
Further, the private economy raised employment for the seventh month running in November with respondents to the survey attributing the additions to higher workloads.
All five economic sectors included in the PMI survey registered an increase in employment but for manufacturing.
The headline PMI reading in November rose to 53 points from 51.4 points in October, its highest reading in 10 months.
The readings which signal a continued improvement in business conditions coincided with stronger rises in output and new orders.
New orders rose at the sharpest pace since May this year with business linking increased demand to the lifting of the night curfew.
The sectors of construction, wholesale & retail have led in the expansion helping offset declining output in agriculture and manufacturing.
“The main beneficiaries from the lifting of the curfew are firms in services, trade and construction. Firms in turn, increased their output significantly to meet rising demand ahead of the festive period,” noted Stanbic Bank Fixed Income and Currency Strategist Kuria Kamau.
Nevertheless, firms input costs have continued to rise driven primarily by supply chain constraints, exchange rate weakness and higher taxes.
The input cost pressures have seen companies raise their output charges at the fastest pace since the start of the year.
Moreover, despite the solid outcomes to activity, the private sector economy forecast has remained subdued with just a quarter of firms’ surveyed expecting activity to rise over the coming year.