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Financial News: South Africa Private Sector Recovers In October

South Africa Private Sector Recovers In October

11/04/2020 - 05:08:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - South Africa's private sector expanded for the first time in one-and-a-half years in October, as the Covid-19 restrictions eased, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The headline Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 51.0 in October from 49.4 in September. The reading rose for the fifth consecutive month. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Overall business conditions increased in both new orders and output in October.

New business expanded for the first time in twenty-eight months, while new export orders declined. New business from abroad was the slowest since the pandemic hit.

Business activity increased for the first time in one-and-a-half years to the greatest extend since December 2016.

Employment continued to decline in October and the pace of reduction slowed to the weakest for seven months. Backlogs of works depletion softened and suppliers' delivery time lengthened.

Purchase price increased at a sharp pace in October and the fastest for six months and selling prices rose to the greatest extend since February.

Business confidence remained remained broadly unchanged in October, as hopes for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The latest data suggest that GDP could grow again during the final three months of 2020, following an anticipated 'mechanical' rebound in the third quarter," Andrew Harker, economics director at IHS Markit, said.

"That said, caution is provided by the situation in other parts of the world where a second wave of the virus has occurred," Harker said.

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