Job Creation in Zambia Now Fastest in Over Two Years, says Stanbic

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Stanbic Bank Head of Global Markets Victor Chileshe explains the banks' latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report
Stanbic Bank Head of Global Markets Victor Chileshe explains the banks’ latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report

The rate of job creation in private sector companies in Zambia has quickened to the fastest in more than two years, says Stanbic Bank.

This is contained in the bank’s latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report for August 2017, which was released yesterday by the Head of Global Markets Victor Chileshe.

The reports noted that this added capacity enabled companies to keep on top of workloads. Backlogs of work decreased for the second month running, and to the greatest extent since February.

Mr Chileshe said recent improvements in Zambian private sector business conditions were sustained in August amid further increases in output and new orders. He said companies reacted to higher workloads by taking on extra staff to the greatest extent in over two years. Meanwhile, cost inflation remained historically muted. This enabled companies to lower their output prices as part of efforts to attract customers.

Stanbic has developed the PMI in partnership with a London-based company, IHS Markit, a leading firm in the provision of information and analysis to support the decision-making process of businesses and governments around the world.

On the index, readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions on the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration.

For August 2017, the PMI registered above the 50.0 no-change mark for the fourth successive month in August, posting 51.8. Although this was down from 52.5 in July, the reading signalled ongoing improvements in business conditions in the Zambian private sector.

Mr Chileshe said Zambian companies continued to raise output during August, the third month running in which this has been the case. Higher sales were the main factor driving growth of activity, but a positive business environment and a strengthening of the Zambian kwacha were also mentioned.

He said companies reported new orders rising for the fifth month running, and at a solid pace, adding that companies were able to offer discounts due to ongoing muted inflationary pressures. While staff costs rose slightly, purchase prices decreased for the first time since September last year. Firms responded to higher workloads by taking on extra staff for the fourth month running

Survey results also show that purchasing activity increased in response to higher demand, with the rate of expansion quickening from that seen in July. This resulted in a fifth successive monthly expansion of stocks of purchases, with the rate of accumulation remaining solid. Despite the increase in demand for inputs, suppliers reportedly responded well to requests for faster deliveries during August. As a result, vendor lead times shortened for the first time in seven months.

“Business responded to the growth in orders by increasing output and hiring more workers in the month of August. Benign cost inflation enabled firms to lower prices in a bid to attract more customers. The index was lower than July, 51.8 versus 52.5. However, it is the fourth consecutive month that it has signalled improvements in business conditions. The index to some extent provides evidence that efforts to keep inflation in check are beginning to benefit the Zambian private sector and by extension the economy,” Mr Chileshe said.

Commenting earlier, Stanbic Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Helen Lubamba, said the PMI was Stanbic’s contribution to providing information that businesses and policy makers could use to make informed decisions.

“It gives businesses and businesspeople the best available data to help them make better business and investment decisions. The PMI helps them know whether the business environment is improving, sluggish or declining, which can affect people’s investments,” Ms Lubamba said.

“What the PMI does is that it shows changes in the direction various sectors of the economy are moving on a monthly basis. By providing this information, Stanbic Bank is contributing to informed decision making by businesses operating in Zambia, while the government, policy makers and regulators can use the information to gauge the impact of their policies on the economy,” she added.

The PMI is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to company executives in private sector companies, which have been carefully selected to accurately represent the true structure of the economy, including manufacturing, mining, services, construction and retail. Survey responses will reflect the change, if any, from month to month.

The PMI has been established in all the major economies of the world as an authoritative and leading indicator of business conditions. It provides the most accurate and most comprehensive suite of economic and key economic indicators, helping policy-makers to make well informed decisions as a well as guiding investment strategy and asset allocation.

41 COMMENTS

    • Women we lie, men lie – numbers don’t.

      Bring numbers and show upward trejectory and people will believe that.

      I would receive this news with a pinch of salt.

      For instance we all acknowledge that I am the best at what I do because mu numbers don’t lie.

      Whew are the numbers on these claims

      I hold a PhD

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

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    • Report doesn’t compare current to past numbers and years for us to know where we are. We might be lower than where we were five years ago and then we call this progress? Remember we have not had monthly unemployment numbers and this report is full of %ages.

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    • I CAN’T BELIEVE MY EYES I AM READING CORRECTLY. WHICH ZAMBIA IS STANBIC TALKING ABOUT WHERE JOB CREATION IS RISING FAST? THIS IS A MOCKERY OF THE ZAMBIAN PEOLE. I DID NOT KNOW THAT INSTITUTIONS LIKE STANBIC COULD ALSO BEHAVE LIKE CADRES. WHATEVER THE MOTIVE, SPARE US THE AGONY.

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    • No wonder people eat grass …… Have you heard these guys mention particular sector that have shown grwoth? Are they even talking of Job losses ? what jobs have been lost in the period? is the net effect Positive or negative? That is have you gained jobs over and above those that have been lost ? what is the quality of these jobs? are the permanent ? seasonal ? Ba Mushota with Your PHD we expect you to interrogate such claims. This methodology seems to be talking of increased production etc. that is why they cannot even say in absolute terms how many jobs have been created.
      Thank you I have a DHP

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  1. Mushota is right……….show the numbers of jobs & we will believe. Or is he just talking about increased profitability but mistaking it for job creation ??

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  2. If it was a politician saying this,I would have doubted to some extent.But since it’s a private institution,am convinced.Thumbs up.Keep going.Rome was not built in a day.

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  3. The numbers of destitute people in Zambia who live below ZMK 9.00 per day is 86%, and climbing! That puts that country at number one in the world as the most stup!d of all banana nations. The remainder, 14% who fare well derive their livelihoods solely from govt corruption. Now that you have for president a punk who cares more about having a good time, this sad state of affairs is guaranteed to endure indefinitely, may till the end of the world.

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    • How sad. You are all about negativity. You would rather see your country suffer lest you have things your way. It’s amazing how you get around with that heavy burden of negativity, bitterness and hate. This report is from a private commercial entity who have put facts and points clearly yet you just pick the bad side of things??? And you expect your kind to ever run this country??? Really sad!!!

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    • @Zambian Citizen

      I am not being negative. The stark statistics points out the dire situation that Zambia has always found itself in because of stup!d leadership.You elect and fanatically support stup!d leaders and you expect things will get better!? How insane you are! I left that pariah state decades ago and have never looked back after I realised that the calibre of people in charge is so mediocre. If I had remained I would probably number among the 14% poverty stricken masses since I am not prepared to kiss anybody’s stinking asrse in order to eat like most of you in govt. In good knowledgeable leadership Zambia could be transformed almost instantly into a veritable paradise. But this won’t happen as long as you insist on clueless drunkards and crooks running the country.

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    • @ Wantanshi: As you have put it again “But this won’t happen as long as you insist on clueless drunkards and crooks running the country.”-this is stone cold negativity. You see the way i see it, we had 27 years of regression, FTJ’s govt. put in 10 years to arrest the regression, Levy and RB oversaw reasonable recovery thanks to favourable copper prices, and MCS put in motion an infrastructure based foundation to support the next stage of growth. IT IS A PROGRESS TOWARD A BETTER FUTURE, NOT REGRESSION AGAIN. You may personally hate the leadership in place, but where are people like you (the good knowledgeable leadership) when the country needs you?? You chose to bolt and go and develop another country, right??? For me, as long as the political side is stable, the key is DIVERSIFICATION…

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    • …It is also our responsibility to be part and parcel of that diversification, not the political leadership alone!!! The current leadership is what we have, with better economic prospects, even the calibre of our leadership will improve-remember, we have more graduates than we ever had in our history. so it’s PROGRESSION, RESPONSIBILITY, PARTICIPATION, PATRIOTISM, RESPECT, GOD & THE WILL TO SUCCEED that will develop this country, not NEGATIVITY, BITTERNESS, HATE!!!

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    • @Zambian Citizen
      Wise investors organise money and then hire the very best managers to run their businesses. Once Zambians learn this basic principle and hire only the very best to manage affairs Zambia will be on its way fast to economic utopia. Don’t you people ever learn? First it was KK, a vicious cruel dictator, then came kafupi, an accomplished conman who immediately set up in business of opening up Zamtrop accounts for his personal benefit, Levy tried but death robed Zambia a genuine guy who would have put the country on a trajectory of progress, along came RB and his thieving son. Finally, Zambia was launched on a path towards total destitution when you brought into power a clearly mad person, Sata! As if that was not bad enough you again gave power to a convicted thief! These…

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    • @Zambian Citizen
      Cont’d
      These bad choices are what makes me pessimistic about Zambia ever amounting to anything other than a banana republic that sponges off rich nations for survival! Shame!

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    • Leadership is not like a company or a business, no, no!! It’s a far much complex undertaking which requires more than just business acumen and education. The white people you serve in that adopted country of yours have balanced it well; Mixing business as well as a social aspect to their countries. You have a special hatred for ECL who you call a convicted thief, my question remains: how does a convict successfully register for public office?? It seems it is you who is misinformed. You see, the Chinese, the Brazilians and other recently successful countries have managed to improve their livelyhoods by not copying and pasting from the western models as you “educated” disporans propose but first they understood their social and economic needs from the lowest to highest within themselves…

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    • ..The Indians, the Lebanese and Chinese here in Zambia come with knowledge from their countries and open factories; HOW MANY OF YOU ZAMBIAN DIASPORANS, AFTER EXPOSURE TO THE SUPER INDUSTRIALISED COUNTRIES OF THE WEST HAVE DONE THAT??? It is a process of evolution and we are progressing. There is nothing wrong with our leaders. Each one has contributed positively inspite of their shortcomings. Your negativity towards your country is as a results of successful colonisation of your brain: as the white man has “taught” you, anything African is bad!! We use to vote for frogs and hoes, but now we choose our leaders: ISN’T THAT PROGRESS DEMOCRATICALLY???

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  4. Wantanshi – what are you doing there if you think you are more knowledgeable than us you coward who has run away to transform this country. just shut up you kwindi, nyamazai were ever you are. you are not even ashamed of yourself talking about the situation which you cannot do or change webutushi iwe.

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    • @lemba
      I am doing something about it, educating you about what you should be doing in order to have a successful country. One: Don’t recruit a thief to be your president and then hope you will achieve success, you won’t! Learn how to identify a qualified candidate for that high office. A man or woman of impeccable integrity, one with a passion to develop the country. lungu has a passion for drinking and dipping his fingers into coffers that doesn’t belong to him.

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  5. Maybe i misread it but thought it went from 52.5 to 51. 8 which to me is a drop as confirmed by the writers own definition. Can the pf intelligensia please enlighten those of us who are not politically aligned

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  6. Under the mmd/ pf regime wpuld any purchasing manager be prepared to dare contradict the what the mmd finance minister wanted to hear……. would stanbik bank want to give a contrary report when the IMF bailout is imminent.
    Forget party politics , why do Zambians accept statements from incumbent political party that , it is our turn to eat…
    Government js for ALL ZAMBIANS. Wake up and loom to the future not just your belly and and your cadre and family.
    Zambia first

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  7. Politics in Zambia is about pulling him down. .no patriotism. If you’re really interested in your country you should try to verify the figures instead of being negative all the time. In short you can only appreciate progress if it’s HH in office.

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  8. At the rate we’re going I wouldn’t be surprised to see the opposition celebrating if Zambia was hit by an earthquake like the one that has hit Mexico.

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  9. Ndanje when the mmd/pf regime establishes its credibility then pipo will more readily believe what should be reported in a FREE PRESS. Ask the MMD finance minister the REAL situation of the Zambian that our great grandchildren have to repay. Ask the MMD finance minister how we will repay tbe chinese without giving then our assets like we have done with ZNBC. Name one country that GIFTS it NATIONAL broadcaster to a foreign power because it couldn’t repay its borrowing and then its President gallivants to give the impression of prosperity of the nation. Sorry I forgot about that..thriving economy of Zimbabwe which is indebted to tbe chinese… uncle bob and his minions are not suffering, ask the majority of pipo in that country how they are eating .
    Soo

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    • I don’t expect you to support what I have said, but that does not worry me. Besides you’re not even in Zambia and you’re busy telling people out there how bad Zambia is. Remember even your HH could become president and if you destroy the country’s image abroad, it will become impossible for him to build the country again. Have a good day.

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  10. Ndjanje and zambian citizen what makes u say “” my HH”” see this isthe problem with the likes of your ilke. Statements without foundation. ARE YOU TWO MMD infiltrators or Kambwillis boys … tell the truth to the great pretenders.oops sorry ECL the person not sworn in in accordance with the constitution. HH lawyers are dull.. no petition needed to challenge the non conformity of the constitution..

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    • “This is the problem with you people. .” I’m getting tired of this cliche. ..what makes you different from “us” ? Come on man common sense is not a preserve of a “special ” group of people.

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  11. Khaki critique my statements in 17 dont just say i am HH supporter. Did MMD /pf regime hanover major shareholding of znbc to chinese forc25 years because tgey could not rpaybthe debt.. YES or NO

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