KAMPALA, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) — Uganda’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 51.5 in December last year, down from 54.1 in November, a bank reported on Wednesday.
The new reading in the monthly report issued by Stanbic Bank, Uganda’s largest bank, attributed the decline to price pressures and a drop in employment.
"Staffing levels dipped in the Ugandan private sector during December after having risen for the first time in six months in November," the report said, noting that workforce numbers decreased in industry, services, and wholesale and retail.
According to the report, some companies reduced staffing levels to limit costs. Away from labor expenses, costs continued to rise due to price hikes in cement, power, food, fuel and stationery.
"A positive demand environment enabled companies to pass on higher input costs to customers, resulting in a fifth consecutive monthly increase in selling prices," the report said.
The report indicated that although the PMI is pointing to a fifth successive improvement in business conditions in the private sector, the latest PMI figure of 51.5 was below the average level since the indexes began in June 2016.
Firms, according to the report, are optimistic that business activity will expand over the course of 2022. Enditem