The Absa purchasing managers index fell to 45.4 index points in May from 47.2 points in April, bringing the average for the first two months of the second quarter to 46.3 points, from 47.1 points in the first quarter.

May’s number is only 0.4 index points from a March low of 45 points — when load-shedding was weighing heavily on activity and confidence.

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