PRIVATE SECTOR

Kenya PMI falls to 52.9 in August

Experts have blamed the delayed payments for causing a jump in bad debts.

In Summary

•The survey showed that activity was affected by cashflow problems, partly arising from a backlog of bills from government departments.

•In June, the finance ministry said the government would make it a priority to pay 10.9 billion shillings ($106 million) owed to its suppliers by the end of that month.

President Uhuru interacting with members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance after he hosted the Seventh Presidential Roundtable (PRT) at State House Nairobi. Looking on is KEPSA Chairman Nick Nesbitt.
President Uhuru interacting with members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance after he hosted the Seventh Presidential Roundtable (PRT) at State House Nairobi. Looking on is KEPSA Chairman Nick Nesbitt.
Image: /PSCU

Kenya’s private sector activity dropped in August to its lowest level since May, with cashflow problems hurting performance, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing and services fell to 52.9 from 54.1 in July. Any reading above 50 indicates growth. In May, the index stood at 51.3.

The survey showed that activity was affected by cashflow problems, partly arising from a backlog of bills from government departments.

“To ensure inclusivity in economic growth, urgent reforms ought to be conducted on improving accessibility to credit for companies, in addition to a consistent plan by the government to clear arrears owed to the private sector,” said Jibran Qureishi, regional economist for East Africa at Stanbic Bank.

In June, the finance ministry said the government would make it a priority to pay 10.9 billion shillings ($106 million) owed to its suppliers by the end of that month.

Firms complain that the government takes years to settle bills for goods and services supplied to it, mainly due to widespread corruption.

Experts have blamed the delayed payments for causing a jump in bad debts in the banking sector.