South African Purchasing Managers Index at record low

FILE PHOTO: A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

A recent survey reveals that South African private sector activity fell to a new record low in April, as seen on Wednesday owing to a nationwide Coronavirus lockdown and closure of companies.

Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dipped to 35.1 in April from 44.5 in March- The lowest level since the survey began in 2011.

Africa’s most industrialised economy is now in its sixth week of a strict lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel virus, which has infected more than 6,000 South Africans and claimed 123 lives.

Although, the lockdown has been partially eased since Friday, allowing some sectors to operate under specific conditions, the economy, which is already in recession, is still expected to take a massive hit.

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The National Treasury had on Monday, reported that gross domestic product could contract by as much as 12% in 2020, with manufacturing, mining and service industries likely to be the worst affected sectors.

Output declined at its sharpest rate on record, while new orders also fell due to export and supply chain restrictions.


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