World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

The Sales Managers' Index: Africa - March 2014

Prices reach 23 month high on exchange rate fluctuations

  • SMI Headline Index reflects stable growth in Africa
  • Future Business Confidence remains upbeat
  • Jobs growth remains strong throughout continent

The Africa Index is by far the most up to date assessment of economic activity in Africa, and provides the only available monthly data covering all sectors of the African economy. The Sales Managers’ Index shows that economic growth in the African continent continues to be vigorous

The SMI registered 59.0 in March, marking the 23rd consecutive month of strong economic activity throughout Africa.

Business Confidence
The Business Confidence Index measures how Sales Managers’ expect the economy to perform over the coming months. The Index measure shows that African managers are clearly confident that conditions for business and economic development will remain favourable.

Panellists in countries expecting elections this year continue to note that business conditions are likely to improve substantially once these are over.

Market Growth
The Market Growth Index reflects growth of the general marketplace in panellists’ own industry sectors.

Sales Managers’ report that overall Market Growth has been strong over the past few months. The current index reading of 58.2 indicates an economic environment that continues to expand rapidly.

Product Sales
The Product Sales Index represents sales made by panellists’ own companies. Growth in the wider marketplace has been matched by growth in individual sales.

Prices Charged 
The Prices Charged Index continues to edge up with a reading of 56.3 in March.

Sales Managers’ in the manufacturing sector have been increasing prices faster than their counterparts in the non-manufacturing sector.

Panellists noted that exchange rate fluctuations and a series of ongoing armed conflicts continue to have an inflationary outcome on prices.

Staffing Levels
The Staffing Index reflects the number of staff taken on compared to the same period in the last year. The Index shows that the demand generated by the expanding marketplace has led to sustained jobs growth over the past 2 years.

The strong Index readings suggest that strong confidence and the fast pace of market expansion is resulting in a thriving jobs market.

World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented:

"The Africa SMI for March is the only indicator that covers the entire continent of Africa – with every single recognised country accounted for, this Index is composed of the most up to date information about what is really going on in the African economy.

Price inflation has been increasing steadily for 9 months, and has now reached a 23 month high. Despite considerable confidence in the underlying economies of Africa, it’s clear that cost increases are having a strong effect on end user prices.

Overall, this is yet another positive set of results; with the continuing stability in the jobs growth a particular cause for good cheer. "


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Notes to Editors
The Sales Managers’ Index is produced by World Economics and is based on original survey data collected from a panel of Sales managers in all sectors of the African economy except those controlled by Governments.

The Sales Managers’ Index results are calculated by taking the percentage of respondents that report that the activity has risen (“Increasing") and adding it to one-half of the percentage that report the activity has not changed (“Unchanged"). Using half of the “Unchanged" percentage effectively measures the bias toward a positive (above 50 points) or negative (below 50 points) index. An example of how to calculate a diffusion index: if the response is 40% “Increasing," 40% “Unchanged," and 20% “Reducing," the Diffusion Index would be 60 points (40% + [0.50 x 40%]). A value of 50 indicates "no change" from the previous month.

The more distant the index is from the amount that would indicate "no change" (50 points), the greater the rate of change indicated. Therefore, an index value of 58 indicates a faster rate of increase than an index value of 53, and an index value of 40 indicates a faster rate of decrease than an index value of 45. A value of 100 indicates all respondents are reporting increased activity while 0 indicates that all respondents report decreased activity.

About the Sales Managers’ Index
The Sales Managers’ Indexes are a set of unique economic activity reports covering a wide range of sectors and industries (except those controlled by Government) in over 70 countries worldwide. The Sales Managers’ Indexes provide the earliest indication each and every month of the direction of economic activity, and the speed at which its markets are growing.

Sales Managers are unique as an occupational group in being really at the front line of economic activity. The Sales Manager is ideally placed to feel the first few whispers of caution in the market or to see the new green shoots of economic recovery.

The Sales Managers’ Index brings together the collective wisdom of Sales Managers and consequently produces the best and earliest source of understanding about what’s really happening in the economy.

The Sales Managers’ Index has been developed by World Economics, a leading edge provider of original economic data. Sister products include the World Economics Journal, the World Price Index, the Global Marketing Index, and Country Growth Trackers.

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621 days ago
Now I feel stpiud. That's cleared it up for me

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