According to a Stanbic Bank poll, the decline in Uganda’s agricultural, construction, and industrial sectors impacted economic performance in February.
According to the poll, which gauges monthly economic health by speaking with corporate leaders and buying managers, the Purchasing Managers’ Index declined to 51.2 in February from 53.2 in January. Yet, the private sector saw an increase in output and new orders notwithstanding the decline.
The indicator is still above the 50 mark, which implies stability, while a number below that denotes a decrease in growth.
While reports of extremely dry weather were cited as a key development inhibitor throughout the month, the poll also showed a fall in employment for the first time in five months. According to Ms. Mulalo Madula, an economist at Standard Bank, the poll revealed consistent economic performance over a period of seven months.
“New orders continued to rise, supporting output, despite a second straight month of declines in new export orders and increases in input and output prices. Activity increased in the services, wholesale and retail sectors, but decreased in agriculture, construction, and industry,” she said.
“Businesses are optimistic that production will pick up over the next 12 months given increased demand, lower inflationary pressures, and expected rainfall,” she added.
The study also revealed rising input costs for things like power and water, which would have affected commodities prices, which rose for the 18th consecutive month.
Charges increased in the wholesale, retail, and agriculture industries, but declined in the construction and services sectors, while suppliers’ delivery times increased for the third time in four months. Companies took advantage of the rise in new orders at that time to boost purchasing activity, which grew for a fourth month.
Nevertheless, the study found that businesses are still upbeat, with close to 68% of respondents forecasting an increase backed by growing client numbers, easing inflationary pressures, and the impend