Standard Chartered Bank

As a result, the financier said in its Kenya Business Sentiment Survey, business confidence increased to 66.9 in April from 60.6 in March. Investors reported expanded activity and a positive short term economic outlook.

In the bank?s Global Outlook Economic Alert, dated April 30, 2015 released yesterday, Kenyan firms reported an 8.4 per cent rise in new orders, production increased 10.7 per cent while and order backlogs rose 54.5 per cent. Supplier delivery times were down 10 per cent while employment fell 15 per cent.

?Apart from the impact of the Kenyan shilling exchange rate, the only indicator to consistently print below 50, companies are optimistic about the economic outlook,? a Standard Chartered Bank Researcher Sarah Baynton-Glen said.

This Standard Chartered tool is a diffusion index that summarises in a single number, how optimistic businesses feel about current and future economic conditions. Each month, up to 200 formal-sector businesses, active in different segments of Kenya?s economy, respond to questions on Kenya?s current and future economic conditions.

?Although most of the respondents polled are Nairobi-based, with some in Mombasa, the businesses that they represent are active across Kenya,? said Baynton-Glen.

The report mentions that while new orders rose 8.4 per cent month on month in April to 76.4 per cent, future expectations falling slightly to 89.9 per cent. ?However, these very strong levels still reflected strong optimism about new orders in the coming months.?

In contrast to strong domestic new orders demand, export orders fell 15.4 per cent in April to 58.9 per cent. Expectations also fell as companies expected demand for Kenya?s exports to fall in the near term. The index remained above 50, however, which still indicates growth in export orders.

By Jackson Okoth, The Standard

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