PMI reading shows a contraction for seventh month straight in April 2016, but pace of decline eases
Where’s the bottom? Egypt’s non-oil private sector continued on its downward trend in April as performance worsened for the seventh month straight, according to the Emirates NBD Egypt PMI, which posted a reading of 46.9, up from March’s 31-month low of 44.5, but well short of the magical reading of “above 50,” which would indicate that business is expanding. The silver lining is that the rate of contraction is easing. The main problem was an “unprecedented rise in input costs,” which increased charges and reduced input buying, pulling the level of inventories down at their fastest rate “in series history.” New orders and employment also fell. “Egypt’s private sector continues to struggle amidst the FX shortage. Although further EGP weakness will eventually help lay the foundations for an economic recovery, in the short term uncertainty over the exchange rate could see additional declines in output, and a further rise in inflationary pressures,” Emirates NBD senior economist Jean-Paul Pigat said.