South Africa’s private sector expanded at a softer pace in November, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.
The headline Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.3 in November from 51.0 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.
Output and new orders declined marginally in November. Suppliers’ delivery times lengthened due to weaker client demand and disruptions.
Firms reduced their purchases in November due to a slower rise in input buying and total inventories.
Purchase prices rose at the fastest pace recorded since October 2018 and output charges grew for the third month in a row.
The rate of job shedding decreased in November, and employment fell the least for eight months.
The outlook for the business activity rose to the highest in nine months in November. Confidence was close to the series trend since April 2012.
“Looking ahead, news about effective vaccines underpinned a nine-month high for business sentiment, as firms were given hope of a restoration of global demand sometime in 2021,” David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit, said.
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