South Africa’s Absa PMI expands on easing lockdown

South Africa’s seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) expanded in August as an easing of the coronavirus restrictions lifted business activity and sales.

The index, which gauges manufacturing activity in Africa’s most industrialised economy, rose to 57.3 points in August from 51.2 points in July, staying above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.

“The improvement in demand was not only due to South Africa moving to a lower lockdown level, but was also supported by an uptick in export orders,” Absa said in a statement.

South Africa imposed a strict coronavirus lockdown in late March but has since eased some of the restrictions, with most key industries now allowed to operate at full capacity subject to health and safety protocols.