6 April 2011 | Paul Snell
activity in South Africa rose to its highest level in more than a year in March,
according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index.
a fall in the job market and dramatic price inflation tempered the positive
news for buyers.
composite index, published by Kagiso, recorded its highest figure in 13 months, expanding to 57.2
in March. This compared to 54.8 in February. Business activity accelerated
significantly to 59.7, with the boost in production attributed to increased
demand. This was backed by growth in new sales orders - 62 compared to 59 two
not all the figures for the sector were positive. Employment – which finally
broke through the no-change mark of 50 indicating expansion in February –
shrank again, with the figure of 46.9, the lowest since December. Input prices
too hit their highest level since 2008 to reach 88. This means prices have
risen by 32 points in the past five months.
contrasting outlook also dampened buyer optimism for the future. Although the
‘expected business conditions’ index continued to grow, it was the second
consecutive occasion it had done so at a slower rate than the previous month.
The figure for March was 58.1.