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South Africa factory activity expands at slower pace in April due to floods

SOUTH AFRICAN manufacturing activity expanded at a much slower pace in April, as business activity and new sales dropped following devastating floods in the KwaZulu-Natal province, a survey showed.

The seasonally-adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 50.7 points in April from 60.0 points in March, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.

The April PMI reading was the lowest since July 2021 when there was rioting and looting in several parts of the country.

Absa said in a statement accompanying the survey’s findings that business activity and news sales were affected by the floods in KwaZulu-Natal that killed more than 400 people, damaged infrastructure and disrupted operations at one of Africa’s busiest ports, Durban.

“In addition to the shock to domestic business conditions, respondents also noted a sharp drop in export sales,” Absa said.

“It remains to be seen whether the drop in exports was due to the temporary Durban harbour closure and other logistical constraints related to the floods, or whether this is due to a deterioration in external demand.”

By The African Mirror

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