Egypt business activity expands in August at sharpest rate of 2015 -PMI
Eni's Bouri Offshore oil terminal is seen off the Libyan coast, in the Mediterranean sea, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2015. The Italian energy company announced it has discovered a "supergiant" natural gas field off Egypt, describing it as the "largest-ever" found in the Mediterranean Sea. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

“With export activity softening, domestic demand is likely to be the main driver of growth in the near term,” said Pigat.

Egyptian non-oil exports during the first seven months of the year fell by 19 percent compared to the same period last year, the state’s General Organization for Export and Import Control said in July.

New work from abroad decreased in August for the third time in four months. Some participants tied lower exports to a lack of stability across key international markets in the Middle East.

Despite increased output the PMI survey also showed that hiring dropped for the eighth time in nine months.

Though Egypt’s unemployment rate edged down to 12.7 percent in the second quarter of 2015, the jobless rate among youth holding a university degree was 44.6 percent.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has pledged to reduce joblessness to 10 percent over the next five years while reviving the economy through long-awaited reforms, state-led mega-projects, and the return of foreign investors and tourists.

Companies attributed another sharp rise in purchase prices in August to the ongoing weakness of the Egyptian pound versus the dollar.

– Detailed PMI data is only available under licence from Markit and customers need to apply to Markit for a licence.

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