New hirings signal business rebound

Stanbic global markets economist Jibran Qureishi (left) with Markit Group director Richard Willis during a past launch of the Kenya purchasing manager’s index survey in Nairobi. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

What you need to know:

  • Higher enrollment was witnessed as business confidence for the country’s private sector remained high on the back of improved operating conditions.

Private firms hired more Kenyans last month sustaining a seven-month job growth trend and signalling a strong rebound in the private sector from the slowdown of last year.

The higher enrollment was witnessed as business confidence for the country’s private sector remained high on the back of improved operating conditions, the latest Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) shows.

“In response to stronger demand conditions and greater output requirements, Kenyan private sector firms raised their staffing levels during June, extending the current sequence of jobs growth to seven months.

“Moreover, job creation accelerated from May’s five-month low to a solid pace,” says the survey.

The PMI index, which tracks private-sector activity, fell marginally from 55.4 in May to 55.0 in June though.

Readings from the survey above 50 signal an improvement in business conditions on the previous month, while those below 50 show a deterioration.

“Latest survey data signalled a robust, albeit softer, improvement in business conditions across Kenya’s private sector in June,” says the survey.

The survey says this was fueled by improved demand, which saw the sustained job creation.

“This was signalled by sharp, albeit slower, rises in output and new business. In response to greater output requirements, firms raised their staffing levels,” it said.

According to panellists in the survey, favourable economic conditions and greater inflows of new work were the key factors behind output growth.

“In line with the trend for output, new business rose for the seventh consecutive month in June.

“Despite easing to the weakest since March, the rate of expansion was sharp and stronger than the series trend,” it said.

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