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The Sales Managers Index: South Africa

Released: December 20, 2016


South African Economy Continues
Slowdown in December


  • Business confidence remains very low
  • Monthly market growth index indicates dwindling economic growth
  • Staffing levels fall for seventh consecutive month

Business conditions in South Africa deteriorated in again December. The Headline Sales Managers’ (SMI) – a composite indicator designed to provide the most up-to-date assessment of business activity – posted 49.1 indicating falling business conditions. This represents the either consecutive month of deceleration in economic activity in over a year, but importantly the Market Growth Index is still just above the 50.0 ‘no change’ level which is consistent with the positive GDP growth but slower than the rate in Q3. Overall, the latest SMI data suggests conditions remain challenging and there is unlikely to be a significant improvement in the economy soon with growth rates remaining muted in quarter 4 and the possibility of contraction in early 2017



Headline Sales Managers' Index



Market Growth Index




Sales Managers' Index Trends

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




Staffing Levels Index




About South African SMI Data



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

Key advantages of the South Africa SMI:
  • The SMI provides the first indication each month of the speed and direction of economic growth in South 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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