Johannesburg - South
Africa's seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index nudged lower to 53.6 in
May from 53.7 in April, in line with a weaker global trend, although the
employment sub-category turned positive for the month.
The employment sub-index jumped 4.2 points in May, climbing
through to expansion territory for the first time in 15 months, reflecting a
delayed reaction to first quarter growth in the manufacturing sector.
“This is the first time since February 2011 that this index
has risen above the 50 point mark to signal employment expansion in the
manufacturing industry,” said Abdul Davids, head of research at Kagiso Asset
Management, which sponsors the survey.
The manufacturing sector contributed almost half of South
Africa’s GDP growth in the first quarter, data showed last week.
All but two sub-indices in the PMI increased. However,
slowdowns in business activity and new sales orders caused an overall decline,
and pointed to further weakness in the headline figure in coming months, Davids