South Africa's seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose in April, swinging back into positive terrain as new sales orders recover from a decline in the prior month, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The index, which is compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research and gauges manufacturing activity in Africa's most industrialised economy, rose to 50.9 in April from 46.9 in March, edging back above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction.
After growing for the first two months of the year as optimism around the policy and political changes spurred business activity, the PMI fell sharply in March after a stronger rand currency hurt exports.
Absa said the new sales order index has since recovered from a sharp decline recorded in the prior month, coming in at 56.5 in April from 44.5 in March.
"If demand holds up in coming months, activity should follow the new sales order index into positive terrain," Absa said in a statement.