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The Sales Managers Index: Africa

Released: February 21, 2017


SMI Suggests Pan-African Economy is Contracting

  • Market Growth Index remains in contraction territory for 5th consecutive month
  • Price Inflation eases slightly in February
  • Africa’s jobs market registers a year of declines

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 – improved by 0.4 index points to 52.6 in February. The Pan-African Market Growth Index, which represents overall economic growth, has continued below the 50.0 ‘no change’ level which separates growth from contraction for the fifth consecutive month in February. This level, indicates that the Pan-African economy is continuing in a period of shallow contraction. South Africa and Nigeria are leading the downward trend, with North African countries mainly causing an additional drag effect while sub Saharan countries post better growth figures. Nigeria, which has recently struggled with recession, is experiencing slowly improving conditions and growth looks set to return over the next few months. The Eastern economy of Kenya, which had a strong economy during 2016, has experienced 4 consecutive months of slowdown and is now starting to stagnate. Overall, business conditions are set to remain challenging across the continent with low sales growth and higher price inflation.



Headline Sales Managers' Index




Market Growth Index




Sales Managers' Index Trends

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





Price charged Index





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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