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South African economy continues to contract at slower rate

Staff Writer | March 27, 2017
Business conditions in South Africa continued to deteriorate in March, with the Headline Sales Managers’ (SMI) reporting 49.8.
South Africa
Africa   Business conditions in South Africa
The Index continued below the 50.0 level that separates growth from contraction for the sixth consecutive month. Official GDP Growth rates for Q4 2016 were -0.3% as published by the Statistics of South Africa office while the Market Growth Index in March improved to 49.6, indicating that the country could soon be returning to positive growth.

The monthly Sales Growth Index (48.9) has also improved on the February level, in line with recent Business Confidence Index levels.

Companies have been reporting job losses for the past ten months, with the March Staffing Levels Index recording 47.4, the highest value for seven months.

Overall, the latest SMI data suggests that the South African economy remains in contraction territory but there are tentative signs in the data that conditions may improve over the coming few months.