South Africa: PMI hits over nine-year high April
The South Africa IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.7 in April from March’s 50.3, marking the best reading since March 2012.As a result, the index moved further above the 50-threshold signaling a faster improvement in business conditions from the previous month.
April’s upturn chiefly came on the back of rising production and new orders. Both output and new orders rose at the fastest rates in over nine years amid improving demand dynamics at the start of Q2. Consequently, firms raised staff levels for the first time in a year-and-a-half. On the price front, input cost inflation rose at the quickest rate for nearly five years due to supply shortages and higher staff costs. Moreover, output charges increased at the sharpest pace since July 2016 as firms passed on costs to customers. Lastly, firms turned more optimistic regarding the 12-month outlook in April, with sentiment hitting the highest level since mid-2015 amid hopes of the pandemic ending.