The Absa purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a measure of the manufacturing sector’s health, rebounded strongly in August after suffering a record single-month decline in July due to unrest and looting that rocked SA.

The PMI climbed back up to 57.9 points from 43.5 in July, which was a 14-month low and a record one-month drop in the measure of almost 14 points from the 57.4 reading in June. The move in the Absa PMI, which is published in conjunction with Stellenbosch University’s Bureau for Economic Research (BER), to a level back above the neutral level of 50 index points will be a welcome sign that manufacturing activity is picking up again...

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