NAIROBI, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Kenya’s private sector activity slowed slightly in January, hurt by a dip in the growth rate for new orders, although output rose, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The Markit Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing and services fell to 53.2 from 53.6 in December. Any reading above 50.0 indicates growth.

“Owing to cyclical factors, private sector activity may soften somewhat over the next couple of months as growth broadly in the agriculture sub-sector eases,” said Jibran Qureishi, regional economist for East Africa at Stanbic Bank.

“However, despite these risks, lower international oil prices should help keep costs suppressed for the private sector and thus underpin purchasing activity.”

The survey showed new orders rising but at a slower pace than in December, while output also rose.

“Businesses have sustained output expansion for 14 consecutive months,” the survey said.

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(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Catherine Evans)