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Financial News: Mozambique Private Sector Slows In January

Mozambique Private Sector Slows In January

02/06/2020 - 03:29:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Mozambique's private sector growth was the second slowest in the nine months in January, damped by weaker new order gains, survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

The purchasing managers' index, or PMI, fell to 50.4 in January from 50.8 in December. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector. The PMI fell for the first time in three months.

New orders increased at the softest rate in twenty months in January and total new business rose marginally since the end of 2019.

Companies increased the output levels at a subdued pace, with the rate of expansion slowing from December.

Purchasing activity dropped at a strongest rate since November 2016, led by weaker demand for inputs. Delivery times were reduced for the eight month in a row.

Employment growth eased in January, with the rate of job creation slowing at the modest pace that was the weakest since October. The backlogs of works were reduced at a quicker rate.

Cost pressure were softened in January, though the rate of inflation rose to the highest in three months and purchase prices were higher as staff wages increased. Output charges were lowered for the fourth month in a row.

Business expectations dropped markedly in January, after reaching a two-year high in the previous month, and the sentiment remained positive overall.

Standard Bank regional economist Fausio Mussa forecast 3.4 percent growth for Mozambique this year and 4.1 percent next year.

"We believe that GDP growth bottomed out in 2019 after the cyclones and various security challenges," Mussa said.

"Last year's Area1 LNG final investment decision and Area4 LNG investment commitment materially improves the growth outlook, but we still foresee only a slow recovery."

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