Stanbic Bank Ghana in collaboration with Markit, one of the world’s leading financial information services providers, have launched a monthly survey of business conditions in the Ghanaian private sector.
Dubbed the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), the survey will provide an early and accurate indication of business trends in the country.
They provide an advance signal of what is really happening in the private sector economy, by tracking variables such as output, new orders, employment and prices across key sectors.
The Ghana PMI structure included data from agriculture, mining, manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail trade, transparent, information and communication, consumer services, finance and insurance, real estate and business services.
Data, in which companies answer standard sector-specific questionnaire on a monthly basis, are collected either by an in-house panel manager at Markit or by a country local agency.
Speaking at the launch of the PMI in Ghana, Mr Alhassan Andani, Chief Executive Stanbic Bank Ghana, said the index was premised on providing the earliest, most accurate and most comprehensive economic indicators that would allow policy- makers and businesses to make well- informed decisions.
Besides, the indicators would provide a solid basis for investment strategies and asset allocation.
“Ghanaian companies stand to benefit tremendously from the survey because the information complied is current and has been gathered first hand by a team of experts working in partnership with 400 of the country’s leading companies,” he added.
He said the PMI provided an indication of actual happenings in the private sector and it is one of the most consistent and recognised economic indicators in the world.
“The changing habits of consumers across sectors make it necessary for periodic assessments of the market environment. To this end, it is important for purchasing managers to accurately plan and critically define their purchasing focus to meet these changing habits,” Mr. Andani said.
“The PMI, which is a comprehensive source of data, provides indicators for government, central banks, financial institutions, investors and corporate in making critical purchasing and economic decisions,” he said.
Mr Richard Willis, the Director, Economics Indices, Markit, said the PMI was widely accepted globally by leading economies because it was accurate, timely and had a wide sector coverage, which included agriculture, manufacturing, services, construction, and retail services.
“The PMI surveys are based on facts, not opinion, and are the first indicators of economic conditions to be published each month. Moreover, the same methodology is applied across all PMI surveys to facilitate international comparisons in the over 30 economies which the PMI covers, including the United States, the Eurozone, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany,” Mr Willis said.
Presenting the inaugural PMI report for August 2017, Ayomide Mejabi, West Africa Regional Research Lead Standard Bank, said purchasing output in Ghana recorded its highest increase in August.
He said that after experiencing slow growth in 2015 caused by erratic power supply, the economy showed good prospects and improvement in 2016 according to the report.
The improvement in 2016 was sharply accompanied with a rise in purchasing orders across sectors, resulting in an increase in purchasing activity, supporting record inventory accumulation in August 2017.
“This record is reflected in the overall performance of the Ghanaian economy as the economy advanced 6.6 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of 2017, following a 4.1 percent expansion in the previous period,” he said.
This is the highest growth rate since the third quarter of 2014 as manufacturing recovered, oil and gas output jumped and agriculture rose the most in nearly three years, he added.
Mr. Asuo Afram, the Director of Economics Statistics at the Ghana Statistical Service, commended Stanbic Bank for the contribution to the development of economic indicators, saying it would help complement the efforts of the Service.
The HIS Markit PMI is supported by the Standard Bank Group, which is the parent company of Stanbic Bank, with presence in 20 African countries.
Stanbic Bank will release the PMI on a monthly basis.