South Africa: Private-sector operating conditions deteriorate in March
In March, the Standard Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slid 0.4 points to 48.8 points, landing below the 50-point threshold that distinguishes improvement from deterioration in the South African private sector.
March’s downturn largely reflected a decline in output and new orders. Production fell at the sharpest clip in four months while new orders dipped modestly amid subdued demand conditions. Employment also dropped, albeit slightly, for the first time in six months. For its part, business confidence weakened again in March, falling to a six-month low.