Egypt non-oil private sector employment hits 13-month high in September: PMI

Egyptian women look at fabric inside a store in Wekalet El Balah, Cairo’s famous fabric market, in Egypt. (File photo: AP)

Egypt’s non-oil private sector employment growth reached a 13-month high in September, boosted by higher demand for labor, an IHS Markit survey released on Thursday showed.

Business conditions in Egypt deteriorated only slightly as firms reduced their output at a softened pace in September, the research firm said in its report.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which covers manufacturing and services, rose fractionally to 49.5 in September from 49.4 in August.

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, expectations for future business activity were down significantly from August’s highs, with September data indicating the weakest level of positive sentiment since October 2016, IHS Markit said.

Export orders continued to rise, despite a fall in total sales.

“The fall in new orders was mainly domestic, with panelists reporting a third consecutive increase in foreign sales, albeit one that was softer than in August,” said David Owen, Economist at IHS Markit.

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.

“Higher prices for fuel and other raw materials dampened some firms’ expectations. Falling sales also harmed the overall outlook. That said, panelists still expect activity to improve over the next 12 months,” Owen added.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54