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Egypt Private Sector Contraction Eases In December

Egypt's private sector shrunk at a slower pace in December amid a softening in cost pressures and a weaker decline in business, data from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.

The headline Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to a four-month high of 49.6 in December from 49.2 in November. However, any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

Output decreased at a faster rate, but remained modest overall.

New orders declined at the weakest rate in the four month sequence of reduction. Panelists reported fading downward pressures and strengthening demand. Foreign orders also fell at a slower pace.

Employment fell modestly for the third month, completing a full quarter of job cuts in December.

Input cost inflation eased in December to a record low as purchase prices grew at the weakest pace in over six years. The pace of growth in salaries slowed. Output prices rose marginally, but the rate was slightly faster than November's thirty four-month low.

Business sentiment remained relatively subdued across Egypt's non-oil private sector in December with most companies expecting output to remain uncanged in the next 12 months.

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