Zam­bia’s busi­ness ac­tiv­ity re­bounds to 4-month high…

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Busi­ness ac­tiv­ity in Africa’s sec­ond largest cop­per pro­ducer Zam­bia, re­bounded to a (4) month high in the month of April, as the neg­a­tive im­pacts of the cholera epi­demic fade out com­pletely. Zam­bia started the year on a bumpy note with a dis­ease epi­demic that re­sulted in busi­ness dis­rup­tion cost­ing the South­ern African na­tion mil­lions of Kwacha in for­gone busi­ness and taxes. Zam­bia recorded a head­line 51.2 pur­chas­ing man­agers in­dex (PMI) from 50.7 in March af­ter hav­ing taken a plunge in Fe­bru­ary at 47.1 ( be­low 50 sig­nalling eco­nomic con­trac­tion.). The re­bound none­the­less ob­served in April was at­trib­uted to new busi­ness that grew at a solid pace re­sult­ing in higher pur­chas­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and sta­ble em­ploy­ment ac­cord­ing to the Markit Eco­nomics re­port re­leased on 05 May. PMIs of above 50 sig­nal rise in busi­ness pulse while those be­low sig­nal con­trac­tionary busi­ness ac­tiv­ity lev­els.

“An in­crease in new or­ders sup­ported a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive month of over­all growth. De­spite the rate of ex­pan­sion eas­ing from March, it re­mained solid and above the se­ries av­er­age so far,” Vic­tor Chileshe, Head of Global Mar­kets at Stan­bic

Busi­ness pulse ef­fects were noted from de­pre­ci­ated cur­rency ef­fects that saw the Kwacha post losses as the lo­cal unit pierced the ZMW10/USD psy­cho­log­i­cal lev­els to ZMW10.05/USD. The Kwacha has how­ever re­versed losses as play­ers pre­pare for mid-month min­ing tax obli­ga­tions. Cop­per re­mains fairly healthy at USD6,810/mt on the London Metal Ex­change spell­ing pos­i­tive prospects for Zam­bia’s 2018 growth es­pe­cially with a higher cop­per pro­duc­tion tar­get of a 1mn met­ric tons.

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