South African business activity picks up for third straight month in July

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South African private sector activity growth sped up for the third straight month in July on improving new orders, output and employment numbers, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The S&P Global South Africa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a 14-month high of 52.7 in July, up slightly from 52.5 in June. Readings above 50 indicate growth in activity.

New orders, output and employment registered the quickest rates of expansion since mid-2021.

“The South African economy remained firmly on the upside in July as businesses saw client demand improve,” said David Owen, economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“(But) the current growth spurt in the economy may be short-lived, as businesses and households start to rein in spending to cope with inflation,” Owen added.

South Africa’s consumer and producer inflation are at multi-year highs, spurred by higher global commodities prices linked to the war in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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