South Africa’s private sector expanded at the fastest pace in nearly a decade in April, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.
The headline Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 53.7 in April from 50.3 in March. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
The latest reading was the strongest since March 2012.
Output and new orders increased sharply in April. New business rose to the highest level in nine years.
Employment rose for the first time in a year-and-a-half in April and backlogs of work increased.
Input purchases increased in April and suppliers’ delivery time lengthened.
Output charges rose at the quickest rate since July 2016 and input prices rose at the sharpest rate for nearly five years.
“New business volumes grew at the strongest rate for over nine years, driven by rising business confidence, increased movement and improving export demand,” David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit, said.
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