South Africa’s seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the manufacturing industry increased by 2.3 points to 46.6 in June, after moving lower for three consecutive months, but remained below the 50 mark that separates contraction from expansion, Kagiso Tiso Holdings, which sponsors the survey conducted by the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) and CIPS Africa, said in a statement.
The average PMI for the second quarter reached 46.1, also in the area that signals contraction and below the first quarter’s average of 50.6. The data suggests that manufacturing production remained under pressure in Q2 after shrinking 4.4% q/q in Q1 2014 and contributing -0.7pps to the 0.6% total economic output contraction.
Compared internationally, South Africa’s economy continued to underperform, as PMI surveys showed improvements in the US and China, while the Eurozone, although declining, remained in the expansion zone above 50.
The main driver behind the slight recovery in South Africa’s PMI in June was a sharp increase, by 12.1 points, in the employment index. However, May’s reading was relatively low compared to recent levels, suggesting that the index returned to more normal levels, rather than indicating a fundamental improvement in the job market.
On the negative side, both the new sales orders and business activity sub-indices fell further with the continuation of the platinum mining strike during most of June, weighing on the already weak domestic demand environment. The slow but steady ramping-up of production after the strike was resolved in late June should support demand for some of the manufacturing sub-sectors in the coming months, Kagiso said.
The price sub-index rose by 3.0 points to 73.8 probably due to a weakening of the rand, but remained significantly below the average reading for of 92.5 for Q1.
Despite ongoing tough conditions, respondents remained optimistic about an improvement in expected business conditions in six months’ time. The PMI leading indicator (the ratio between new sales orders and inventories) fell further below 1.0, not boding well for future production growth.
South Africa’s seasonally-adjusted whole economy Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for May, compiled by Markit on behalf of HSBC, is due for release on July 3.
|Kagiso Purchasing Managers Index||Jun-14||May-14||Apr-14||Mar-14||Feb-14||Jan-14|
|PMI, seasonally adjusted||46.6||44.3||47.4||50.3||51.7||49.9|
|PMI, not seasonally adjusted||43.0||44||46.0||51.3||52.4||45.3|
|New sales orders||43.9||44.8||43.5||46.6||53.4||50.2|
|Backlog of sales orders||35.5||32.7||41.0||44.9||45.8||38.8|
|Expected business conditions||58.3||59.6||54.2||54.5||55.7||61.4|
|Source: Kagiso Tiso|
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