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World Economics - Measuring Global Economic Activity and GDP


The Sales Managers Index: Africa

Released: September 20, 2016


Pan-African Growth Now Marginal in September

  • Nigerian recession continues as South African economy shows signs of improvement
  • Pan-African market growth remains stable
  • Job losses increase as businesses struggle

The World Economics Headline Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) for Africa – a composite indicator providing the most up-to-date monthly assessment of economic activity in the region – slowed to 52.0 in September from 52.2 in August. The Pan-African Market Growth Index is only just above the 50.0 ‘no change’ level which separates growth from contraction. This level indicates that the Pan-African economy is close to stalling. Nigeria, the continents largest economy, is continuing in recession for the third straight quarter and the data suggests that there will not be a substantial improvement during the latter part of the year. South Africa is fairing a little better with its expected return to growth as the North African countries continue to struggle with muted economic activity caused by low oil prices and security concerns.



Headline Sales Managers' Index




Sales Managers' Index Trends
  Direction Speed
SMI Growing Slowly
Business Confidence Growing Fast
Market Growth Growing Very slowly
Sales Output Falling Slowly
Prices Charged Growing Modestly
Staffing Levels Falling Solidly










About Pan-Africa SMI Data



The Sales Managers Index provide the earliest monthly data on the speed and direction of Pan-African economic activity.

Key advantages of the Pan-Africa SMI:
  • The SMI provides the first indication each month of the speed and direction of economic growth in Africa.
  • The SMI provides the most complete indication of growth, covering all private sector activity.
  • The SMI is based on a key occupational group - uniquely able to sense changes in business activity levels.
  • The SMI is composite index of business confidence, market growth, sales, prices charged and staffing levels.
  • The SMI is a diffusion index, any index value above 50 indicates growth and below 50 indicates contraction.

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