South Africa: PMI nosedives in August on economic anxieties, weak rand
September 5, 2018
In August, the Standard Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) plummeted 2.1 points to 47.2 points, retreating further from the 50.0-point threshold that distinguishes deterioration from improvement in the South African business environment. August’s reading pointed to sharp declines in both output and new orders across the private sector.
Amid growing concerns over the political and economic crises that hit South Africa in August, firms reported a near-record decline in new orders. In turn, output fell precipitously and shortages of new work forced layoffs. Purchasing activity also suffered, while strikes contributed to lengthening delivery times. Meanwhile, the weak rand pushed up costs and drove firms to hike selling price considerably.