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January 19, 2010

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S. Africa's PMI rises 5th month in a row

SOUTH Africa's purchasing managers index rose for the fifth month in a row in December as the pace of recovery in the manufacturing sector picked up, data released yesterday showed.

Kagiso Securities said the PMI rose to 52.5 in December, from 50.3 in November. The PMI broke above the key 50 mark that indicates expansion in November, for the first time in 18 months.

"After an initial lag, the South African manufacturing rebound is now very close to being on par with the global trend," said Kagiso Securities' Andre Coetzee.

South Africa's manufacturing sector expanded by 7.6 percent in the third quarter, helping to lift the economy out of its first recession in almost two decades, and the performance of the sector will greatly determine the pace of the broader recovery.

Monthly data from Stats SA have indicated the rate of decline in manufacturing output is slowing, in line with expansionary PMI readings.

New sales orders increased to 54.7 from 54.4 in November, providing hope for a real expansion in manufacturing, Kagiso said in a statement.


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