After falling sharply in March, the Absa purchasing managers’ index (PMI) beat analysts’ expectations and rose above the neutral 50-mark again in April.The index rose by four points to 50.9 in April. The PMI finally breached the 50-mark in February, rising to 50.8 index points but fell markedly in March to 46.9.The index is compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research and gauges manufacturing activity. A score above 50 indicates an expanding manufacturing sector."This is more or less in line with the level recorded in February and above the average recorded during the first three months of the year," said Absa in a statement on Wednesday.The improvement in the headline PMI was driven by increases in four of the five key sub-components, with only the supplier deliveries index dipping slightly lower. However, while the new sales orders index remained firmly in positive terrain, the other four sub-components were below 50.The business activity index rose from 46 to 49.1 in April, while...

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