Johannesburg - South Africa's HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 51.5 in October from 49.8 in September, its biggest expansion in 10 months as producers recovered from labour strikes, a survey showed on Tuesday.
“While strike action provided headwinds to third-quarter GDP growth, the recent PMI survey supports a slightly more optimistic outlook for economic activity in the final quarter of 2013,” said HSBC economist David Faulkner.
The October PMI number was the first public release of the HSBC-sponsored index, which has been calculated behind closed doors since 2011.
The index is calculated as a weighted average of five sub-categories such as new orders, output, employment, suppliers delivery times and stocks of purchases.
In October input costs rose at their slowest pace since the start of the year, but spending on labour rose at it fastest rate since July. New sales orders improved from a fall in September.
“The improvement in economic conditions appears to be domestically driven,” Faulkner said. - Reuters