The Absa purchasing managers index (PMI), a gauge of the health of the manufacturing sector, fell for the first time in four months in April, though the indicator remained in positive territory.

The seasonally adjusted Absa PMI, which is published in conjunction with Stellenbosch University’s Bureau for Economic Research (BER), fell to 56.2 index points in April following three consecutive months of improvement, according to a release by Absa and the BER on Monday. Absa’s April PMI was down from the March reading of 57.4, which was a five-month high, though it remained above the neutral reading of 50 index points, indicating an expansion in manufacturing activity...

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