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The Sales Managers Index: Africa

Released: April 18, 2017


Pan-African Economic Growth Picks Up Pace in April

  • Nigeria’s recovery and improvements in South Africa spur pan-African growth
  • Business confidence across Africa improves further
  • Price Inflation moderates slightly

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 1.5 index points to 55.7 in April. The Pan-African Market Growth Index, which represents overall economic growth, has increased further to 54.2. This level, indicates that the Pan-African economy is continuing to grow after a period of contraction. Nigeria’s recent resurgence from recession has had a positive impact on the African economy, along with South Africa’s improvements, combined they represent approximately 35% of the continental business activity. The Eastern economy of Kenya, which had a strong economy during 2016, has experienced six consecutive months of slowdown and is now starting to post very low levels of growth. Overall, business conditions are set to remain challenging across the continent as a whole but with growing levels of sales and price inflation remaining moderate, panel members could be justified for their renewed levels of optimism.



Headline Sales Managers' Index




Market Growth Index





Business Confidence Index






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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