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Absa PMI declines further in December

Growth may be levelling off in the manufacturing sector.
Image: Luke Sharrett, Bloomberg

South Africa’s seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined further in December, as business activity and new sales worsened, a survey showed on Friday.

The index, a gauge of manufacturing activity in Africa’s most industrialised economy, fell to 50.3 points in December from 52.6 points in November, staying just above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.

“The reading just above 50 index points suggests that growth is levelling off in the manufacturing sector after solid month-on-month gains were recorded in the wake of April’s lockdown-induced plunge in activity,” Absa said.

“Worryingly, the business activity index declined to 44.9 index points in December. Strictly speaking this means that manufacturing output declined compared to the previous month.”

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