File photo: Ben Stansall

Johannesburg - South Africa's seasonally adjusted HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index dipped to 50.2 in March from 51.5 in February as a mining strike caused contraction in private sector output, sponsor HSBC said on Thursday.

“Strike disruptions in the platinum sector and poor weather may imply this is a temporary deceleration in the economy,” said HSBC economist David Faulkner, adding however, that “the evidence of weak new orders associated with waning domestic demand threatens a broader softening in growth.”

While new orders were driven down by lower domestic demand, new export orders rose for a second successive month, partly helped by a weaker rand, HSBC said.