May-19 PMI: An Indication of a slow recovery still!

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Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released its Apr-19 Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report – a report initiated in 2014 to indicate changes in the level of business activities in the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors.

According to t o the report, activities in the manufacturing sector remained in the expansionary region i.e above the 50 point threshold for the 26t h consecutive month. Yet, growth in the level of business activities was sluggish with the PMI emerging flattish at 57.8 points (vs 57.7 points in Apr-19) despite the growth recorded in 13 out of the 14 subsectors that makes up the index. Meanwhile, the report also showed that activities i n the Non-manufacturing sector remained in the growth region ( >50 points) for the 25t h consecutive month, after inching northwards by 0.2 points m/m to 58.9 points (previously 58.7points).

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The PMI, among other surveys, gives a sense of the direction of growth in the overall economy. An analysis of the historical PMI numbers and GDP growth outcomes from Q1-15 to Q1-19 shows a fairly strong correlation of 62.5%. As a result, w e see the broader economy remaining o n the path o f recovery, albeit, at
a sluggish pace. This further buttress our recent revision of GDP forecast for Q2-19 hovers around 2.0%, especially as the implementation of major policy reforms remain at large while businesses encounter operating challenges.

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