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Cape Town – The South African Reserve Bank said on Tuesday its composite leading business cycle indicator increased by 1.1 percent on a month-to-month basis in February 2017.

"Six of the ten component time series that were available for February 2017 increased, while four decreased," the bank said.

"The largest positive contributions to the movement in the composite leading indicator in February resulted from an increase in the South African produced export commodity price index (US dollar based), followed by an acceleration in the number of residential building plans passed."

The central bank listed the biggest negative contributions to the indicator in February as a slowdown in the six-month smoothed growth rate in the real M1 money supply, as well as a decrease in the average number of hours worked in the manufacturing sector and a drop in new car sales.

The indicator is seen as projection of the country's economic growth for the year ahead and the February increase supports forecasts from economists that growth could reach 1.1 percent in 2017.