Uganda’s private-sector activity hurt by fewer export orders – survey

Contractors assemble steel for the construction of Karuma 600 megawatts hydroelectric power project under construction on River Nile, Uganda February 20, 2018. REUTERS/James Akena

KAMPALA, March 5 (Reuters) – Uganda’s private-sector economic activity decelerated in February, slowed by weak exports, delays in customer payments and rising input prices, a survey showed on Monday.

The Markit Stanbic Bank Uganda Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined to 51.1, down from 52.0 last month. A reading above 50 indicates expansion; anything below, a contraction.


“February saw a contraction in the volume of new orders from abroad,” the survey said, adding it was the first time in four months export orders had decreased. Payments from customers were delayed as well, leading to cash shortages.

Economic activity in the month was also squeezed by a surge in costs, which pushed up purchase prices, the survey said. Rising costs of living pushed up wages, too.

Private-sector activity slowed in January, too, as input costs rose [nL8N1PS5E8].

Markit Stanbic reported healthy growth in volumes of domestic new orders, which it attributed to an“expanding customer base combined with intensive advertising campaigns.”

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(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema)

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