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Downturn in Nigerian private sector eases during March

Staff writer ▼ | April 7, 2016
The contraction of Nigeria’s private sector persisted in March, albeit at a weaker pace. Business conditions worsened only slightly, with the speed of downturn restricted by slower declines in output and new work.
Nigerian private sector
Africa   Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI
Reflective of subdued client demand, input buying also decreased marginally. In contrast, both employment and pre-production inventories increased.

On the price front, currency weakness continued to have an impact – driving input costs higher which subsequently led to another survey-record rise in charges.

The headline figure derived from the survey is the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions on the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration.

At 49.6 in March, the seasonally adjusted Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI signalled a second consecutive deterioration in business conditions at Nigerian private sector firms.

That said, the rate of contraction eased somewhat, with the latest reading up from 47.9 in February. Notably, the recent downturn has bucked a growth trend which had defined the first 25 months of data collection, meaning that the first quarter average (49.6) was by far the lowest recorded since the survey began at the start of 2014.