Bloomberg News

South African PMI Climbs Above 50 for First Time in 3 Months

September 01, 2010

South Africa’s purchasing managers’ index rose above 50 for the first time in three months in August, indicating a rebound in manufacturing (SFPMNSAY) output, Kagiso Securities Ltd. said.

The seasonally adjusted index climbed to 50.3 from 49.5 in July, Johannesburg-based Kagiso said in an e-mailed statement today.

Manufacturing output, which accounts for 15 percent of the economy, had weakened as slower growth in Europe, which buys a third of South African goods, curbed export demand. That reduced growth in Africa’s biggest economy to an annualized 3.2 percent in the second quarter from 4.6 percent in the previous three months.

The PMI “moved back into expansionary territory,” Kagiso’s Theo Vorster said in the statement. The improvement in the new sales order index, which increased by 3.5 points to 52, indicates that “demand for factory goods recovered somewhat in August.”

The index measuring business activity index dropped to 46.9 last month from 50.9 in July, while manufacturers’ expectations of business conditions improved to 59.6 from 57.7, Kagiso said.

Job losses probably eased in August, with the employment sub-index increasing to 48.3 from 47.6 in July, the survey showed. South Africa’s jobless rate of 25.3 percent is the highest of 62 countries tracked by Bloomberg.

The Bureau for Economic Research, based at the University of Stellenbosch near Cape Town, and the Institute of Purchasing and Supply South Africa conduct the PMI survey on behalf of Kagiso.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nasreen Seria in Johannesburg at nseria@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net.


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