In Kenya Private-sector activity rebounds in April, PMI shows

Uganda had increased. "As regional infrastructure is bolstered, through developments such as the Standard Gauge Railway, we suspect this avenue will continue to show more promise in the coming years,"Qureishi said.

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A woman picks tea leaves at a plantation in Nandi Hills, in Kenya's highlands region west of capital Nairobi, November 5, 2014. play A woman picks tea leaves at a plantation in Nandi Hills, in Kenya's highlands region west of capital Nairobi, November 5, 2014. (REUTERS/Noor Khamis)
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Kenyan companies expanded production and got more new orders in April as demand for exports grew in regional markets, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Markit and CFC Stanbic Kenya Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 54.8 in April, from 52.6 in March. Anything above

50.0 denotes growth; anything below, contraction. The PMI is one of the indicators watched by the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee. The rise in April's PMI was the fastest since the series began in January 2014.

Jibran Qureishi, the regional economist for East Africa at CFC Stanbic, said respondents indicated exports to neighbouring

Uganda had increased. "As regional infrastructure is bolstered, through developments such as the Standard Gauge Railway, we suspect this avenue will continue to show more promise in the coming years,"Qureishi said.

Uganda concluded a presidential vote in February. Business activity had slowed during campaigning.

Despite the rise, the latest Kenya PMI was the lowest reading during the month of April since the series started. The

central bank took control of mid-sized Chase Bank on April 7,stoking worries about the health of the financial sector.

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