Brokers work at the Egyptian Stock Exchange in Cairo in January 2013. (Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images)

Aside from Oil Interests, Egypt’s Private Sector Continues to Shrink

A key Egyptian financial index is showing continued contraction in that part of the country’s private sector on which oil has no major bearing. The latest IHS Markit Egypt Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), published on Tuesday, shows a November decline to 47.9 from October’s 49.2. A score below 50 denotes contraction, while anything above 50 means growth. It was the fourth consecutive month of contraction for the sector, which has shown expansion in just six of the past 36 months. The country’s urban rate of annual inflation dropped to 3.1 percent in October, the lowest in well over a decade, and analysts are hoping that while this is just another indicator of shrinkage in the economy, it could lead to more consumer spending, thus blunting the contraction.

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