Though manufacturing is still under some pressure, the Kagiso Purchasing Managers' Index with CIPS as a partner, showed small growth compared to the last five months of steady decline.
Posting at 49.5 in July, the index is edging towards the neutral 50 mark. The most positive element of the index was the 5.7 rise in the business activity index.
Andre Coetzee, new MD of CIPS Southern Africa and spokesperson on the PMI said,
"The modest improvement in the PMI is the first time in five months where we did not see a decline in the PMI. This number is also better than analysts expected. The jump in business activity to 50.9 is encouraging, and combined with an improvement in the employment index points to a possible consolidation in the South African manufacturing sector, which contributes 15% to South African GDP.
"Expected business conditions continued to decline indicating that purchasing managers are less optimistic about business conditions looking six month forward.
"The fact that the PMI is consolidating below 50 is not great news as it means that the second largest sector in the South African economy is once again contracting."