JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s manufacturing activity continued to perform well in January as a decline in hiring and new orders was offset by higher business activity and inventories.
The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) stood at 53.0 points in January, little changed from 53.1 in December, above the 50 points that separate expansion and contraction.
The business activity index improved from the previous month, despite planned blackouts curbing production and impacting new orders, according to the survey.
“If this translates into real production increases, it would be a promising start to the year for a struggling sector,” Absa said in a statement.
Absa added that continued activity growth would require a sustained improvement in demand, possibly moving to a phase of lesser blackouts.
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Struggling state-owned utility Eskom has implemented daily blackouts this year after a record number of blackouts last year. On Tuesday, it increased blackouts to a record high.
Reported by Anait Miridzhanian.Edited by Olivia Kumwenda Mutambo
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