South Africa Factory Activity Snaps Three-Month Drop in November

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s manufacturing industry rebounded from a 15-month low in November as new-sales orders improved.

The purchasing managers’ index compiled by the Stellenbosch-based Bureau for Economic Research for Absa Group Ltd. climbed to 49.5 from 42.2 in October, the first increase in four months, the Johannesburg-based lender said in emailed statement Monday. The reading has been below 50 for nine months, indicating contraction in the factory sector.

Key Insights:

  • The index measuring new-sales orders rose to 50.3, the best level since May.
  • Business sentiment and the rand have wiped out all the gains that came on the back of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ascent to the power since December. The business cycle in South Africa, where the economy entered its first recession in almost a decade in the second quarter, is in its longest downward phase since records started in 1945, central bank data show.

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