Zambia's economic conditions stable: Stanbic Bank

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Stanbic Bank Zambia, a commercial bank, on Thursday says economic conditions in Zambia were stable and have signaled an overall improvement in the health of the private sector.

Stanbic Bank Zambia, which has released its findings of the Purchase Managers' Index, a monthly survey of business operations in the country, said the survey for May signaled an overall improvement in private sector conditions for a third straight month, posting a headline figure of 52.3 during the month up from 51.2 the previous month, the highest growth observed in 2018.

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

According to the findings, business activity rose for the second month in succession during May and at an accelerated pace, hitting a six-month high.

"Stronger market conditions were underpinned by a record increase in new orders with firms reporting a subsequent rise in business activity while both purchasing activity and stock levels rose," a statement released by the bank said.

It added that purchasing activity and stock levels rose during the month, with businesses stating that higher demand and efforts to increase output were factors influencing the respective expansions.

Victor Chileshe, the bank's head of global markets, said the survey findings indicate a record increase in new orders underpinned stronger market conditions, with firms reporting a subsequent rise in business activity.

This is the second bank to show Zambia's good economic prospects this week.

On Monday, Standard Chartered Bank projected that the country's economy was expected to continue growing due to expected rise in copper prices.

In its report, the bank said Zambia's economy was on track for stronger growth and may reach 8 percent growth rate by 2020 on account of improved productivity in the real sectors.

Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya told reporters on Wednesday that positive ratings by international banks and organizations were a sign of investor confidence in the country's economy, adding that stakeholders should be proud of the economic strides the country has recorded. 

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