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The Sales Managers' Index: Africa

Released: May, 21 2015

Pan-African SMI points to further improvements in business conditions in May

  • Egypt continues to lead African economic growth
  • Strong manufacturing and services activity across Africa
  • Sentiment highest in Nigeria, Egypt and Algeria

The Headline Sales Managers’ Index for Africa rose from 58.5 in April to 58.9 in May, signalling further improvements in business conditions across the Pan-Africa continent. Boosting the headline index were stronger rises in business confidence levels, and product sales. Market growth, prices charged and employment rates eased but only marginally. That said, the latest reading is the highest since April 2014.

May’s data for the four largest economies revealed a mixed picture. Egypt posted again the highest index value (70.0), followed by Nigeria (62.5), Algeria (60.8) and South Africa (55.6). An improved investment climate, and the government’s commitment to economic reform were reported by panellists as the main factors for these high levels of economic activity in Egypt. Nevertheless, panel members in Nigeria, Algeria and South Africa continued to express concerns on depressed oil prices and power shortages.

Sector analysis showed that the Pan-Africa Manufacturing SMI slowed to 57.8 in May, from 58.0 in April, and the Services SMI increased to 59.4, from 59.0 on the previous month. These index values still show that business activity across Africa is rising at a strong pace.

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