NAIROBI, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Kenya’s private-sector activity rose in December after new orders for companies increased at the fastest pace in 11 months, a survey showed on Thursday.
The Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.1 from 53.3 in November, well above the 50.0 point that marks growth.
“Strong domestic and external demand led to an improvement in business operating conditions during the festive period,” said Jibran Qureishi, regional economist for East Africa at Stanbic Bank.
The survey found orders placed with private companies accelerated at their fastest pace in nearly a year, driving hiring, as businesses raced to meet the demand.
“Job growth rose to a 10-month high as firms scrambled to increase headcount in order to mitigate backlogs that have been building up over the past couple of months,” Qureishi said.
Costs of production rose, the survey found, pointing to potential inflationary pressures this year, he said.