Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s purchasing managers’ index rebounded to a seven-month high in January, a sign that the recovery in manufacturing may be strengthening, Kagiso Tiso Holdings said.
The seasonally adjusted index rose to 53.2 from 49.4 in December, Johannesburg-based Kagiso said in an e-mailed statement today. The median estimate of 4 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for the index to rise to 50.2. A number above 50 indicates an expansion in factory output.
“The expected business conditions index remains very optimistic,” Abdul Davids, Kagiso Asset Management’s head of research in Cape Town, said in the statement.
The recovery in manufacturing, which accounts for about 15 percent of the economy, may help to bolster gross domestic product, which expanded near a two-year low of 1.4 percent in the third quarter. The Reserve Bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a 30-year low of 5.5 percent in 2011 to support consumer spending and growth in Africa’s biggest economy.
The index measuring new sales orders increased 9 points to 57.3 last month and the business activity sub-index rose 3.9 points to 53.6, Kagiso said.
The price sub-index remained above 80 as “purchasing managers continued to indicate that input cost pressures are on the rise,” Davids said.
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.
--With assistance from Simbarashe Gumbo in Johannesburg. Editors: Nasreen Seria, Gordon Bell
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