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JOHANNESBURG - Standard Bank Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for February pointed to the first month of expansion in the private sector since July last year. 

The PMI went up to 51.4 points in February from 49 points in January; this was as output and new orders returned to growth, supported by increases in purchasing activity. 

Thanda Sithole, an economist at Standard Bank, said the improved political backdrop, should lift sentiment and thereby stimulate the PMI to improve further. 

“However, whether the perceived optimism is sustained will largely depend on the approach taken to address policy issues such as land expropriation without compensation and radical economic transformation,” Sithole said.