Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Business conditions in SA have improved slightly, breaching the neutral 50 level, but still remain weak.

The Standard Bank purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 50.1 in July from 49 in June.

The survey, sponsored by Standard Bank and produced by Markit, provides an early indication of operating conditions in SA.

Readings above the neutral 50 show an improvement in business conditions.

Indices tracking new orders, employment and stocks of purchases climbed above 50 while those tracking output remained in contractionary territory.

Standard Bank economist Thanda Sithole said: "This means that private sector prospects are slightly better now than last year and could even improve more meaningfully should domestic policy execution become positive and entrenched."

On Tuesday the Absa PMI dipped further, spelling bad news for the manufacturing sector. After falling below the neutral 50-mark in June, the index slumped from 46.7 points to 42.9 in July with all five subindices weakening.

The Standard Bank PMI looks at the whole economy, while the Absa one focuses on the manufacturing sector.

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