The CBN has reported that the manufacturing sector in the country has expanded for the 28th consecutive month as the Purchasing Managers Index stood at 57.6 index points in July. The index grew at a faster rate compared to the previous month. Of the 14 sub-sectors surveyed, 13 reported growth in the review month in petroleum and coal products; transportation equipment; cement; printing & related support activities; paper products; food, beverage & tobacco products; furniture & related products among others. At 58.9 points, the production level index for the manufacturing sector grew for the twenty-ninth consecutive month in July 2019. The index indicated a slower growth in the current month when compared to its level in the month of June 2019. Twelve of the 14 manufacturing sub-sectors recorded an increased production level, while two recorded decline. The new orders index at 57.2 points grew for the 28th consecutive month, indicating an increase in new orders in July 2019. Eleven sub-sectors reported growth, 1 remained unchanged, while 2 contracted in the review month. The manufacturing supplier delivery time index stood at 57.5 points in July 2019, indicating faster supplier delivery time. The index has recorded growth for twenty-six consecutive months. Ten of the 14 subsectors recorded improved suppliers’ delivery time, while one remained unchanged and three recorded decline in the review period. In the PMI survey conducted during the period July 8-12, 2019, the employment level index for July 2019 stood at 57.3 points, indicating a growth in employment level for the twenty-seventh consecutive month. Of the 14 sub-sectors, 10 reported increased employment level, one reported unchanged employment level while 3 reported decreased employment in the review month.
Data from the NNPC shows that the volume of petrol the state oil firm imported increased significantly by 1.18 billion litres within two months; between March and May 2019. The NNPC since 2017 has been the only importer of petrol and has been spending billions of naira in subsidising the commodity after oil marketers stopped importing due to the high difference between the landing cost and the pump price at fillings stations. The report said that in March 2019, the NNPC imported 916.51 million litres of petrol, which increased to 1.9 billion litres in April and climbed further to 2.1 billion litres in May. The total volume of petrol imported in the year from May 2018 to May 2019 was 20.4 billion litres. There was no import of kerosene by the NNPC in the months of March, May this year, and in May, September, October, November and December 2018. The total volume of kerosene imported from May 2018 to May 2019 was 310.97 million litres, while the cumulative volume of the products, petrol and kerosene, imported by the NNPC during the period under review was put at 20.71 billion litres. The significant rise in petrol imports between March and May this year was due to an increase in consumption, officials said. Within two months, January and February 2019, the amount that was spent by the NNPC in subsidising petrol rose by over 1,174% to ₦206.585 billion from a total of ₦16.212 billion spent on fuel subsidy in November and December last year.
Majority of businesses in Nigeria spend ₦5 trillion ($14 billion) annually to generate their own power, the National Association of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture has said. The businesses, mostly private, specifically spent the money on generators, maintenance and fueling. Director-General of NACCIMA, Ayoola Olukanni said that such humongous cost is a big drain on resources and may be responsible for the dwindling fortunes of most businesses. Olukanmi, however, said that businesses are expected to boom and become more competitive, especially since the country has signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The CBN has been intervening in the Foreign Exchange market over the past two weeks to keep the naira stable as foreign investors took profits after yields fell on the local debt market, traders told Reuters. The naira was quoted at ₦362.80/$ on the currency market for investors, weaker than the level around ₦361 level where it has traded for much of this year, indicating pressure on the currency amid a dwindling supply of dollars. Customers now take more than a week to have their orders filled. The regulator has also cut back on open-market auctions to attract foreign investors in its bonds, a policy shift aimed at stimulating lending to boost an economy stuck with low growth after a recent recession. The bank auctioned a one-year open-market bill last month at around 12%, down from as high as 18% a year ago. According to the trader, some offshore clients were taking profits and that summer holidays in Europe could also account for the low volumes.