South Africa’s private sector contracted at a slower pace in June, as employment and cost pressures increased, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.
The headline South Africa purchasing managers’ index rose to 49.7 in June from 49.3 in May. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.
As output lowered, this led to a decline in new orders and new business in June. Export sales deteriorated to the lowest level in three months.
Few firms reduced workforce in June and the employment level increased as other business hired additional staffs. Backlogs of works were reduced as demand pressure was softened.
On the price front, input prices rose in June. Prices for fuels ad staff cost were higher, and firms faced inflationary pressure on electricity bills and a weaker exchange rate. Output prices increased at a moderate pace.
Firms were positive when predicting future output and the level of optimism was the highest recorded since March last year.
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