South Africa: Private-sector nearly stable in January
In January, the Standard Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) climbed 0.6 points to 49.6 points, closing in on the 50-point threshold that distinguishes deterioration from improvement in the South African private sector.
January’s reading revealed a more modest deterioration in business conditions, reflected in smaller declines in output and new orders amid the first uptick in external demand in more than a year. Higher export orders appeared to bolster activity somewhat and, to that point, employment rose marginally. On the other hand, input- and output-price inflation remained moderate. For its part, business confidence edged up to a nine-month high on improved short-term prospects.