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World Economics - Measuring the World Economy


The Sales Managers Index: Africa

Released: November 22, 2016


Pan-African Economy Contracts Further in November

  • Pan- African slowdown lead by Nigeria and South Africa
  • North African economies grapple with low oil prices, high inflation and security concerns
  • Africa’s jobs market registers nine months 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 – slowed to 50.7 in November from 50.8 in October. The Pan-African Market Growth Index has continued below the 50.0 ‘no change’ level which separates growth from contraction for the second consecutive month in November. This level indicates that the Pan-African economy has stalled and appears to be entering a new period of contraction. Nigeria and South Africa are leading the downward trend with Egypt fairing little better. Nigeria has struggled with recession for the past eight months as South Africa has seen growth waning to very low levels. The majority of the countries in the rest of the African continent are registering meagre levels of growth on average.



Headline Sales Managers' Index



Market Growth Index




Sales Managers' Index Trends

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




Staffing levels 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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