The private sector in Nigeria remained in growth territory in September even though there were signs of moderation as rates of expansion in output and new orders softened, the latest Stanbic IBTC’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) report shows.
According to a statement by the lender, the report shows that “companies continued to expand purchasing activity and employment in line with higher new orders. Suppliers’ delivery times improved further amid a lack of road congestion.
“Meanwhile, increased workforce numbers and sufficient capacity to fulfil new orders led to a series- record decline in the level of incomplete work. Looking forward, however, business sentiment was the weakest since the start of the survey in January 2014 as some firms reported difficulty planning for the year ahead. “On the price front, overall input price inflation was marked and was driven by increase in raw material costs and unfa vourable exchange rates against the US dollar.”
It further said: “At 52.5 in September, the headline seasonally adjusted PMI signalled expansion and one which extended the current sequence of strengthening business conditions to three months.
That said, down from 54.6 in August, the reading pointed to a more moderate improvement.” Specifically, the report, according to the statement, indicates that output and new orders rose significantly during September, a development “firms attributed growth to improvements in customer demand following the easing of restrictions related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”
Similarly, during the month, “higher workloads prompted firms to increase staffing levels which led to the fastest pace of job creation since February. The rise in workforce numbers paired with sufficient capacity led to a series-record depletion in the amount of outstanding business,” the statement said.
“Looking ahead, business confidence remained positive overall as firms continue to foresee a rise in output over the year ahead. That said, sentiment dropped to the lowest in the series so far amid reports that some firms were not planning to expand output at present,” it added.