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S. Africa Private Sector Growth Rises To 4-Month High

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South Africa private sector growth improved in March despite increased global uncertainty, survey results published by S&P Global showed on Tuesday.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to a four-month high of 51.4 in March, up from 50.9 in February and above the 50.0 no-change threshold.

This was largely due to a renewed increase in employment. New order volumes also rose during March, although the rate of growth was down fractionally from February.

At the same time, output levels fell back into contraction territory, with firms often noting that soaring input costs and further material shortages disrupted activity.

In the wake of increased global uncertainty due to the war in Ukraine, prices for a number of commodities surged, leading to the quickest increase in business costs for nearly six years.

Companies largely passed these costs onto their customers, resulting in the second-sharpest uplift in selling prices since the survey began in 2011.

The year-ahead outlook for activity worsened markedly during March, after climbing to the highest in over seven years in February.

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