INTERNATIONAL – Kenya’s private sector activity was little changed in July, as firms struggled to cope with increased demand, a survey showed on Monday.
The Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing and services came in at 54.1 in July, slightly lower from 54.3 in June. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.
A move by the government to start paying outstanding bills — often long-delayed — to its suppliers of goods and services had boosted sentiment during the month, survey respondents said.
In June, the finance ministry said the government would make it a priority to pay 10.9 billion shillings ($105.93 million) owed to its suppliers by the end of that month.
“We don’t think it’s a coincidence that the government has begun releasing some withheld payments during this period that is subsequently boosting business confidence,” said Jibran Qureishi, regional economist for East Africa at Stanbic Bank.