PMI falls again in December, caps off worst quarter on record
Spell not yet broken: PMI still signals decline. Egypt’s non-oil private sector continued to decline in December, as per the Emirates NBD Egypt PMI compiled by Markit, which registered a reading of 42.8. The downturn eased slightly from November’s, but remains substantial. “Output, new orders and input buying all dropped considerably, continuing trends observed throughout the latter part of 2016 … sharp inflation was a key factor behind firms’ difficulties. Purchase costs rose at a near-record pace, leading to a lack of raw materials at some companies. This restricted output … had a damaging effect on client demand.” Seeing the only silver lining in the report, Jean-Paul Pigat, Senior Economist at Emirates NBD, said: “New export orders decreased at the slowest pace since September 2015. Although the process will not be immediate, a weaker Egyptian pound following November’s devaluation will eventually help boost export growth,” an important step, given weak domestic demand. December’s PMI reading rounded off the worst quarter on average since PMI data collection began in 2011. Tap here to read the full report (pdf).