Egypt’s non-oil activity shrinks in October as inflation, supply shortages bite -PMI

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s non-oil private sector shrank for a 35th consecutive month in October as inflation, supply chain problems and a lack of access to foreign currency continued to bite into business activity, a survey showed on Sunday.

The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 47.9 from 48.7 in September, sliding further below the 50.0 threshold that separates growth from contraction.

“The Egypt PMI pointed to the sharpest deterioration in non-oil business conditions for five months in October,” S&P Global economist David Owen said.

“A faster decline in new business volumes and sustained weakness in output were recorded as supply shortages and inflation continued to bite, leading companies to make their first reductions in staffing and stock levels since July.”

The subindex for new orders declined to 47.1 from 47.6, while the backlog index slipped to 50.6 from 53.1, which had been its highest reading since the PMI began in April 2012.

“Survey panellists highlighted sustained headwinds to demand from rising prices, currency weakness and supply problems,” S&P Global said.

The output subindex on the other hand climbed to 46.4 from 45.7 in September, while the subindex for future output expectations rose to 56.4, its highest in 10 months, from 53.0 in September.

(Reporting by Patrick Werr; Editing by Hugh Lawson)