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Zambia records sharp decline in business activities in September: survey
Last Updated: 2018-10-11 13:20 | Xinhua
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Zambia recorded a sharp decline in both business activity and new business for the second month running, the fastest reduction in new business since February 2007, results of a survey released on Wednesday have shown.

The Purchasing Managers Index survey, a monthly survey conducted by Stanbic Bank Zambia, showed that business activity dropped to 48.6 in September, down from 49.0 in August, representing a seven-month low.

According to the survey, output, new orders and suppliers' delivery times all contributed negatively to the decline, adding that the September data pointed to challenging business conditions in Zambia's private-sector economy.

"Weaker customer demand, higher wage bills and increasing costs of raw materials is the narrative for the worsening business conditions seen in September. With the rising costs of input, it is reasonable to expect that customers will soon be paying more for goods and services," Head of Global Markets at Stanbic Bank Victor Chileshe said.

The rate of contraction was the sharpest in seven months as companies linked lower output to slow market conditions, he added.

Chileshe said the latest survey data indicated that inflationary pressures in the Zambian private-sector economy remained mute in September although the overall input prices continued to increase.

According to him, companies linked lower output to slow market conditions, a lack of money in circulation and delayed customer payments.

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