INCE CONNECT / 07 JANUARY 2017 - 05.01 / STEPHEN GUNNION
Confidence levels improved in December, with firms expecting 2019 to be a more positive year for the country.
Manufacturing activity reached its best level in five months last month as business confidence started to improve on signs of a recovering economy. The IHS Marking Purchasing Managers' Index increased to 49 in December from 48.2 in November. While the PMI has been below the break-even 50 mark for six months running, December's decline was the smallest since July.
IHS Markit's headline PMI is a composite single-figure indicator of private sector business performance. It's derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers' delivery times and stocks of purchases by the country's manufacturers.
The data and information services company said the latest reading was indicative of a slower contraction in both output and new orders in December. While many firms highlighted a continued slump in demand, which led to lower output, others found that activity was boosted by signs of a turnaround in the economy. Likewise, demand from abroad fell at the softest rate in six months. It said employment was boosted by the softer fall in output, with firms reporting the most marked increase in jobs since last June.
Notably, confidence levels reached an eight-month high in December, with firms expecting 2019 to be a more positive year for the country," IHS Markit economist David Owen said. "It is hoped that economic reforms will prevent another dip in output next year, although the summer's elections may add extra uncertainty."
LINK : http://www.inceconnect.co.za/article/pmi-reaches-near-break-even?acid=oYJQqYd8EnkeZeuwhd4cWQ%3D%3D&adid=Pvlr6NzvfaxThx%2FXV0VfAQ%3D%3D&date=2019-01-07
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