World Economy

Egypt Business Activity Soars

Egypt Business Activity SoarsEgypt Business Activity Soars

Business activity in Egypt’s private sector excluding oil grew in August at the fastest pace of 2015 on the back of solid growth in output, though employment fell for the eighth time in nine months, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Emirates NBD Egypt Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 51.2 in August, up from 49.2 the previous month. A reading above 50 indicates expansion and below 50, contraction, Albawba reported.

“The improvement in the August survey is encouraging, and more than reverses the decline seen in the previous month,” Jean-Paul Pigat, economist at Emirates NBD, said.

“The rise in the output component to an 11-month high was particularly notable, and hopefully suggests that the slowdown witnessed in July will not persist through second half.”

The August survey was the highest reading in eight months and the second time this year that business conditions recorded by the survey have improved, albeit modestly.

Much of the improvement was spurred by an increase in output and new orders, with 23% of participants recording higher output than the month before and many reporting stronger demand conditions.

“With export activity softening, domestic demand is likely to be the main driver of growth in the near term,” said Pigat.

Egyptian non-oil exports during the first seven months of the year fell by 19% compared to the same period last year, the state’s General Organization for Export and Import Control said in July.