LUSAKA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — Business operations in Zambia slightly improved in November following sharp falls in previous months, a survey released on Wednesday showed.
November brought a much-needed respite for private-sector companies which saw a slight improvement compared with the last four months, according to the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for November released by Stanbic Bank.
Though November’s PMI of 48.1 is still below the 50 mark, which is a benchmark for proper performance, the survey said the figure is still much higher than October’s 43.7 due to slower reductions in output and new orders.
Respondents reported an ongoing demand weakness and a lack of money as some economic problems, but they are less severe than last month, it added.
“The respondents cited a depreciation of the Kwacha (the Zambian currency) against the U.S. dollar and higher fuel costs as the driving factors behind the increases in purchase prices. They also added that the recent revision to the minimum wage was central to rising staff costs,” said Victor Chileshe, the global markets sales manager of Stanbic Bank.