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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

PMI dips unexpectedly in March

Egypt’s headline purchasing managers’ index reading dipped to 49.2 in March from 49.7 a month earlier, according to the monthly report compiled by Markit. The drop was driven by downward movements in sub-components such as new orders and employment, with sentiment dipping to an eight-month low as well. The upside is that the data signaled easing inflationary pressures across the non-oil private sector as both input prices and output charges increasing at softer rates. Input costs, in particular, also dropped to a 30-month low. New export orders were up for the third month running as well, with demand from Middle Eastern countries picking up. Improvement in the Egyptian economy is still expected to be felt this year, Emirates NBD MENA Economist Daniel Richards says. Richards notes that “the latest PMI data implies that [the improvement] is taking longer than the authorities might have hoped. Nevertheless, the index has consistently threatened to turn expansionary over recent readings, which is a vast improvement on the months just prior to the economic reforms.”

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