South African factory activity widens in December – Absa PMI by Reuters
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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s manufacturing activity expanded in December, but business activity deteriorated further during the month amid ongoing power outages, a survey showed on Friday.
The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.1 in December from 52.6 in November.
“While the headline is positive, the underlying picture is more mixed. Of most concern was the business activity index, which continued to deteriorate in December,” Absa said in a statement.
South Africa’s manufacturing sector bore the brunt of rotating power outages – known locally as load shedding – last year as state-owned utility Eskom struggled to keep the lights on for long stretches in Africa’s most industrialized economy.
“The sustained and intense load shedding in the final month of 2022 was likely a major drag on the sector,” Absa said.
There is also a likelihood of global supply chain disruptions due to a short-term spike in COVID-19 cases in China, he added.