Manufacturers’ employment rate will dip below benchmark points to 48.8 points in the first quarter of 2023, a new report has shown.

According to the latest Manufacturers CEOs Confidence Index report, the new figures also represent a downward spiral from the 49.2 points obtained in the preceding quarter.

The Manufacturers CEOs Confidence Index of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is a quarterly research and advocacy publication of the association, which measures changes in the pulse of operators and trends in the manufacturing sector on quarterly basis.

This is in response to movements in the macro-economy and government policies using primary data generated from direct survey of over 400 chief executive officers of MAN member-companies.

The report indicated that in the fourth quarter of 2022, Aggregate Index Score of the MCCI declined to 55.0 points down from 55.4 points recorded in the third quarter of the year, pointing to manufacturers’ increasing loss of confidence in the economy.

It said the fourth quarter of 2022 appeared to be more difficult to manufacturers than the level of hardship experienced in the preceding quarter.

It linked this to the continued rise in inflation, high cost of energy, unabated erosion in naira value and difficulty in sourcing forex as well including the harsh effect of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The report partly read, “Among the standard diffusion factors, current business condition and business condition for the next three months, scored above 50 benchmark while increasing in the quarter; Current Employment Condition (rate of employment) and production level in the next three months scored above the 50 benchmark points though with a decline in the period respectively.

“Employment conditions for the next three months dipped below the benchmark points to 48.8 points which is also below 49.2 points obtained in the preceding quarter.”

MAN further explained that the redesign of naira notes, which has dealt a serious blow to the economy, would also play a significant role in affecting employment in the first quarter of 2023.

It said, “This is the true opinion of manufacturers.  The result is robust and reflects reality – Q1 of every year is usually sluggish and employment decision is hardly completed in the quarter.”

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