JOHANNESBURG – The Absa manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) plunged to a five-month low in March on rolling power cuts in that month.
The PMI fell to 45 points last month from 46.2 points in February – the reading pointed to the third consecutive contraction in manufacturing activity.
The index measuring expected business conditions in six months’ time fell to 59.6 points in March from 65.9 points in February, while the employment index plunged by 5.4 points in March to 42.7 points.
The purchasing commitments index swung back to contraction, falling to 41.5 points in March from 50 points in the previous month.
Capital Economics senior emerging markets economist John Ashbourne said the fall in the PMI was due to power cuts and soft demand having weighed on the sector....
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