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SA private sector activity little changed in Dec -PMI

Businesses struggled to make gains in December: economist.
Image: Shutterstock

South African private sector activity was little changed in December as demand stalled and there were renewed falls in purchases and inventories, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dipped to 50.2 in December from 50.3 in November, its lowest reading for three months but still above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction.

The largest component of the PMI, the new orders index, revealed broadly unchanged sales volumes. Output was also largely flat.

“South African businesses struggled to make gains in December, as weak demand and issues sourcing raw materials meant total output was broadly stable since November,” IHS Markit economist David Owen said.

“While PMI data over the fourth quarter of 2020 points to an easing to the downturn, demand indicators suggest that the economy has far to go to recover from the pandemic.”

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