PHOTO: Supplied by Absa Group.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose in July supported by an uptick in new sales orders and business activity, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The index, which gauges manufacturing activity in Africa’s most industrialised economy, rose to 51.5 points last month from 47.9 in June. The 50-mark separates contraction from expansion.

“The recovery was driven by an improvement in demand, as reflected by the increase in the new sales orders index. The uptick in demand filtered through to higher business activity,” Absa said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, it was reported yesterday, South Africa’s trade surplus widened more than expected to R12billion ($915million) as exports in precious, base metal and vehicle parts jumped, easing pressure on the economy and lifting the currency. 

Africa’s most industrialised country ran a large current account deficit of 4.8percent of GDP in the first quarter, and in the absence of the economic growth that normally draws fixed investments is heavily reliant on more volatile portfolio flows.