World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

The Sales Managers' Index: Africa

Released: August 21, 2014

Headline SMI Index rises in August to 56.0

  • Business confidence starts to increase
  • Market and sales growth rates rise in line
  • Price pressures increase

The Headline SMI registered 56.0 in August, an increase of 0.8 on its July value. This is the first positive change since January 2014.

In August nearly all the constituents of the composite index rose apart from Staffing Levels which declined marginally. This indicates that most panellists are still seeing rising business activity across the 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 Pan-African economy.

Business Confidence
The Business Confidence Index measures how Sales Managers expect the economy to perform over the coming months. The Index registered a value of 66.4 in August, up by 1.3 on July.

Confidence remains at a high level indicating that most of the African panellists are confident about future economic conditions, but it is too early to estimate whether or not the declining trend witnessed over most of 2014 has been reversed.

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

The index value was 55.1 in August, up by 0.4 on July. This is the first rise after four successive falls in this index.

Product Sales
The Product Sales Index represents sales made by panellists’ own companies.

The Index registered 53.1 in August, up by 0.6 on July. Panellists are experiencing company sales growth in line with the growth in the markets they operate in.

Prices Charged 
The Prices Charged Index registered 54.5 in August, up by 2.1 on July. This is the first rise after three successive monthly falls in the value of the Index. Panellists are seeing prices rising and the rate of inflation has ticked up marginally across Africa in August.

Staffing Levels
The Staffing Index reflects the number of staff taken on compared to the same period in the last year. The Index registered a value of 51.1 in August, unchanged on July. Given the proximity of the value of the index to the no change value, panellists are reporting minimal payroll growth across Africa.

World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented:

"The Africa SMI for August 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 across the Pan-African economy.

In August most of the indicators rose after several months of decline, the only exception was Staffing Levels. The rise in the panellists’ Business confidence when combined with rising Sales and Market growth implies that economic activity across the continent could strengthen in the coming months. "


For further information media & press enquires please contact:  

Amelia Myles, Communications Manager
T: +44 (0) 20 7326 8352
F: +44 (0) 20 7326 8351 

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

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