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Business News of Wednesday, 14 September 2022


Inflation uptick keeps manufacturing down

Inflation Inflation

Activities in the manufacturing sector experienced a fall in output last month as the productivity of the private sector reduced marginally over rising inflation, a report by the Stanbic IBTC Bank’s Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) for August, has stated.

It said the headline PMI was 52.3 for the month, down from 53.2 the previous month, implying that the rate of growth was lower by 0.9 per cent during the month under review than the long-run series average.

It said: “Private sector output of firms rose in August for the second month running, although the pace of growth eased slightly from July. Firms reported that an uplift in demand supported output growth. However, the rate of expansion was weaker than the long-run series average.

“Sub-sector data indicated agriculture firms recorded the strongest expansion, followed by wholesale and retail, and services. However, manufacturers recorded a decline in activity.”

The report also stated that the inflationary pressure witnessed its highest upsurge in the month when compared to previous records since last November.

It attributed the escalation experienced in the prices of goods and services in Nigeria during the month under review to “unfavourable exchange rate movements and higher commodity prices,” as about 61 per cent of firms recorded a rise in purchase costs while 38 per cent left them unchanged.

The PMI report said: “On the price front, higher commodity and transportation expenses exerted upward pressures on purchase costs. At the same time, firms raised their staff wages to motivate their workforces and in light of higher living expenses. The overall rate of input price inflation was the second-fastest in the survey’s history, surpassed only by that seen in November 2021.”

It added: “Latest data revealed another robust increase in purchase prices faced by private sector firms. Moreover, the rate of inflation quickened and reached a five-month high in August. Unfavourable exchange rate movements and higher commodity prices led to the increase.”

“Private sector firms in Nigeria sought to share higher cost burdens with their clients during August. Output prices have risen in each month since January 2016, with the latest uptick marked and much quicker than the long-run series average.”

However, the report showed that private sector firms continued to maintain an optimistic view towards output in the year-ahead.