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Private sector activity rebounds in October

Kenya private sector
Key private sector players during a past panel discussion. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Growth in the Kenyan private sector rebounded in October, after cost pressures held it back the previous month, a survey showed on Monday.

The Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index(PMI) for manufacturing and services rose to 54.0 from 52.7 the previous month. A reading above 50.0 denotes growth.

“The onset of the short rain season, which so far seems quite positive for the agrarian sector, could help GDP growth recover in the fourth quarter of 2018,” said Jibran Qureishi, the economist for East Africa at Stanbic Bank.

Sentiment had turned decidedly negative in September after the government imposed a new tax on fuel, but it reduced the proposed rate by half after a public outcry.

“Following September’s 10-month low, the latest figure suggested a return to the buoyant health seen earlier in the year,” Markit said.

The survey found that firms had registered increased new business during the month, driven by higher export orders.

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