Nigeria’s Manufacturing, employment recorded sharp decline in April –Report


New orders, output and employment witnessed sharp falls as prices rose amid supply chain disruption in April.

These was the summary of a report of April business activities, which also witnessed low manufacturing.

The Nigeria Purchasing Managers’ Index report by Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc for April showed a decline in the private sector.

According to the report, the Nigeria PMI headline sank to 37.1 index points in April 2020 compared to 53.8 index points recorded in March.

The report reflected economic indicators got from monthly surveys of private sector companies, and it was targeted at providing information about current business conditions to various stakeholders.

Readings above 50.0 indicated an improvement in business conditions while readings below 50.0 showed deterioration, it stated.

According to the report, the advent of COVID-19 and the lockdown imposed to curtail its spread led to a severe deterioration in business conditions across the Nigerian private sector during April.

Both output and new orders decreased at rates unprecedented in more than six years, the report revealed.

The report showed that firms scaled back employment as most companies kept their staffing levels unchanged at the start of the second quarter.

Concerning purchasing activity, difficulties in securing materials led to a sharp rise in purchase costs, and this was passed on in the form of higher output prices.

As companies continued to increase their selling prices at a marked pace in April as a result of the higher purchase costs, the rate of inflation rose to a new high.

The introduction of the lockdown prevented many firms from completing outstanding orders, thereby making backlogs of work to increase for the first time in three months.

Specifically, the Nigeria PMI survey report for April was a weighted average of five indices which are new orders (30 per cent), output (25 per cent), employment (20 per cent), suppliers’ delivery times (15 per cent) and stocks of purchases (10 per cent), the report stated.

Despite many companies experiencing a drop in confidence due to a severe decline in business activities across the country when compared to the index of the previous six months, it stated that there was optimism that businesses would begin to bounce back steadily once the pandemic eased.

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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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