Kenya’s PMI Drops to 5-month Low in Nov on Covid-19 Resurgence

The headline Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the month of May 2021 increased to 52.5 from the 41.5 recorded in April 2021, attributable to the lifting of the partial restrictions that had been imposed in March 2021.

Workers at the Kitui County Textile Centre producing surgical face masks PHOTO Charity. Apr 8, 2020

Growth in the Kenya private sector softened in November on slower increases in orders, exports, buying levels, and output as the Covid-19 restrictions and resurgence of positive cases, the latest Stanbic Bank-Purchasing Managers’ Index survey indicates.

The headline PMI fell sharply to 51.3 points in November from an all-time high of 59.1 points in October. A reading above 50 on the index indicates expansion.

“Key to the slowdown were weaker increases in business activity and sales, as firms commented on issues with money circulation and economic stress caused by a rise in local COVID-19 cases. Reintroduced curfew measures meanwhile led to a drop in client demand at some businesses, while lockdowns in Europe curtailed growth in foreign new orders,” noted the report.

“Containment measures that were re-instilled last month were less stringent than before. However, the pace of the improvement in business activity slowed down partly due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Additionally, firms noted that the reintroduction of lockdowns in parts of Europe also hurt external demand for their goods,” stated Stanbic Bank Fixed Income and Currency Strategist Kuria Kamau.