June 1 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s purchasing managers’ index declined for a third consecutive month in May, Kagiso Securities Ltd. said, indicating the recovery in manufacturing output may be losing momentum.
The seasonally adjusted index fell to 55.1 from 56.4 in April, Johannesburg-based Kagiso said in an e-mailed statement today. The PMI has been above 50, which indicates an expansion in factory production, for seven consecutive months.
Manufacturing, making up 15 percent of the economy, has helped drive economic growth, which accelerated an annualized 4.8 percent in the first quarter from 4.5 percent in the previous three months, the statistics office said yesterday. Factory output, which grew an annualized 14.5 percent in the first quarter, may come under pressure as job losses in Africa’s biggest economy mount.
“The most disappointing indicator of the PMI remained the employment situation in the factory sector,” Kagiso said. The employment index, which has only been above 50 once in the last year, dropped to 48.7 from 49, it said.
The sub-index measuring factory inventories slipped the most, declining to 54.5 in May from 61.5 the previous month, Kagiso said. The business activity measure fell to 56.8 from 58.4, it said.
South Africa’s jobless rate, the highest of 61 countries tracked by Bloomberg, increased to 25 percent in the first quarter as Africa’s biggest economy shed 14,000 jobs.
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.
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