Egypt’s non-oil private sector demand ‘subdued’ in October: IHS

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Demand in Egypt’s non-oil private sector remained subdued in October due to a lack of new contracts, an IHS Markit survey released on Tuesday showed.

Business conditions at Egyptian firms deteriorated slightly, with new orders declining for the third straight month amid a fall in output.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which covers manufacturing and services, fell fractionally to 49.2 in October from 49.5 in September.

PMI readings vary between 0 and 100, with a reading above 50 indicating an increase compared to the previous month, and below 50 an overall decrease.

But, there is growing optimism around business activity, the IHS Markit survey indicated.

The level of business sentiment jumped from September's near three-year low, with nearly half of the research firm’s panelists expecting activity to rise over the coming 12 months.

“Despite lower current sales, firms were hopeful of future contracts leading to a rebound in activity,” IHS Markit Economist David Owen Economist said.

Excluding the oil industry, Egypt’s economy has struggled to attract foreign investors since the 2011 uprising led to a period of political instability in the country.