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South Africa PMI drops to 20-month low, signalling deepening recession

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Staff writer ▼ | April 8, 2016
The downturn in South Africa’s private sector that started last summer intensified in March, with output and new orders falling at sharper rates and companies cutting jobs at a record pace.
South Africa PMI
Africa   Standard Bank South Africa PMI
Meanwhile, input and output prices both rose more slowly, buying activity declined and inventories were reduced for the ninth month running.

Falling from February’s 49.1 to 47.0 in March, the seasonally adjusted Standard Bank South Africa PMI signalled the most marked deterioration in operating conditions in over one-and-a-half years.

Moreover, the average PMI reading over the first quarter as a whole was the worst since the inception of the survey in July 2011.

South African private sector firms reported a substantial decline in activity in March, the eleventh in as many months and the most marked since July 2014.

Part of the decrease was attributed by panellists to a lack of demand. In line with the trend for output, new business fell sharply during the month.

Survey participants partly linked this to commodity price developments, the drought and poor economic conditions. The fall in new work was broadbased, as new export orders also declined.