South Africa: Business conditions improve at softer pace in August
The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 51.7 in August from July’s 52.7. As such, the index moved closer to, but remained above, the 50.0 no-change threshold. This points to a continued, albeit moderating, improvement in business conditions from the previous month. August’s downturn was chiefly due to output growth moderating to a three-month low. Customers tempered their purchasing due to concerns over a global slowdown. New orders also grew at a more moderate pace, but despite the slowdown, firms onboarded more staff in August. Regarding prices, input costs rose at a slower pace in August, which resulted in output charges growing at their softest pace since January. Lastly, the optimism of firms hit a six-month high during the month.