South Africa: PMI drops into contractionary territory in September
The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.2 in September, down from August’s 51.7. September’s result marked the weakest reading since December 2021. As a result, the index dropped below the 50.0 no-change mark, signaling a deterioration in business conditions from the previous month.
September’s downturn was chiefly due to both output and new orders contracting at the sharpest paces so far this year amid severe load shedding. Meanwhile, employment levels increased robustly in September, with the job creation rate broadly unchanged. With regard to prices, cost inflation softened to a near one-year low in September as staff costs increased at a slower pace and commodity prices cooled. Additionally, easing shortages of materials globally and shipping delays also eased cost pressures thanks to a moderating supply crunch. That said, a weaker rand pressured import prices. Consequently, output charges rose at the softest rate since January. Lastly, firms were more upbeat regarding the coming 12-month period, with sentiment hitting a seven-month high.