Business activities in the manufacturing sector rose for a fourth consecutive month in July.
The data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday showed the Purchasing Managers Index expanded 54.1 in July, up from 52.9 in June and 52.6 in May. A reading above 50 indicate expansion.
The monthly survey which measures economic health of the manufacturing sector based on new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment. Revealed that 11 of the 16 sub-sectors surveyed reported growth in July.
While the remaining 5 sub-sectors that declined were petroleum & coal products; fabricated metal products; furniture & related products; non-metallic mineral products and plastics & rubber products.
Similarly, the manufacturing production index grew for the fifth consecutive month in July. Expanding by 59.3 to show the manufacturing sector is sustaining growth at a faster pace than previously anticipated.
Also, new orders grew for the fourth consecutive months. Rising by 52.7 in July. This further validated the surge in business confidence among consumers as the economy is gradually emerging from recession.
The sector continued to create new jobs as the manufacturing employment index also rose 51.8 in July. This is the third consecutive month of growth.
Analysts have attributed the sustained growth to the CBN’s efforts at ensuring manufacturers access forex with ease and at an affordable rate.
“Sustained growth is paramount to building business confidence,” said Samed Olukoya, a foreign exchange research analyst. “The exporters and investors forex window has helped deepen CBN’s efforts at expanding the manufacturing sector.”
“However, the apex bank needs to adjust its monetary rate to encourage mass participation,” he added.
The Naira remains fairly stable at N365 to a US dollar.