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S. Africa's PMI slows in December

Xinhua English


JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- University of Stellenbosch's Bureau for Economic Research (BER) said on Friday that the Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) declined from 52.6 index points in November to 50.3 in December, the lowest level since July 2020.

The PMI provides a measure of business conditions in the manufacturing sector.

Any reading below 50 indicates a contraction in activity, while a reading above 50 indicates expansion. The reading just above 50 index points suggested that growth is levelling off after solid month-on-month gains were recorded in the wake of April's lockdown-induced plunge in activity.

"Despite a strong start in October, the average reading for the fourth quarter is basically unchanged from the third quarter. This suggests that while another quarter-on-quarter uptick in manufacturing output is likely, the pace of the recovery momentum has slowed,"said BER in a statement.

"In early 2021, the COVID-19 second wave and accompanying renewed lockdown restrictions will likely also negatively impact domestic demand, particularly from the liquor and hospitality sectors. The return of load shedding, especially if no longer contained to the late evenings, also argues against a strong rebound in January," it said. Enditem