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Private sector expansion in Kenya slows down in March

By Reuters | April 5th 2016

Kenya's private sector expansion slowed in March as firms reported possible loss of clients and a slowdown in new orders, data showed on Tuesday.

The Markit CFC Stanbic Kenya Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 52.6 percent in March from 55.2 percent in February, but still above the 50.0 mark that denotes growth.

"Though still signaling growth, the latest reading pointed to a second successive loss of momentum since January," Markit said.

The reading for March was the third lowest since the index was started 27 months ago, it added.

But the average reading for the first quarter of this year of 54.7 was still the strongest since the second quarter of last year.

Firms responding to the survey said they may have lost clients during the month while others cited sluggish incoming orders.

"Expansions of output and new orders eased sharply and we suspect this is chiefly due to subdued global growth rather than soft domestic demand," said Jibran Qureishi, regional economist for East Africa at CFC Stanbic.

Hiring continued but at a slower pace than in February, data showed.

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