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At last, a reason to be cheerful: factories are producing more


At last, a reason to be cheerful: factories are producing more

Absa PMI breaches the neutral 50-point mark for the first time since December, surprising economists

Sunita Menon

Activity among factory owners has climbed to its highest level in more than three years, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the first time this year.

The seasonally adjusted Absa purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 52.1 points in July from 46.2 in June. The last time the index was this high was in June 2016. It is also the first time this year that the index has breached the neutral 50-point mark; the PMI last came in above 50 in December 2018.

This will come as a surprise to economists polled by Bloomberg, who expected the index to remain in contractionary territory, at 46.5...

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