Egypt’s non-oil private sector expanded in November, albeit at a softer pace, data from the IHS Markit revealed on Thursday.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, fell to 50.9 in November from 51.4 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
Business activity grew for the fifth month in a row in November, albeit at a softer pace. New business growth eased and firms continued to register an increase in sales.
Export volume increased in November and total sales growth eased. The slowdown was due to the stricter lockdowns to combat a second wave of Covid-19 cases.
Confidence regarding the business activity in the next 12-months fell to its weakest in the series history.
Employment was reduced for the thirteenth month in a row in November, despite rising orders and increasing backlogs of works. The rate of decline in employment, however, was the slowest in this sequence.
Inputs rose for the second month in a row in November and stock building accelerated to the fastest since September last year.
Input prices rose in November and the overall input price inflation softened, which led to a modest increase in average selling charges.
Suppliers’ delivery time shortened in November at the fastest since the survey began in April 2011.
“However, Egyptian firms were also the least optimistic about future output in the series history, amid concerns that activity could weaken if COVID-19 cases rise again domestically,” David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit, said.