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The Sales Managers Index: Africa

Released: January 17, 2017


Pan-African Economy Continues to Contract

  • Pan-African slowdown continues, led by South Africa as Nigeria shows signs of recovery
  • Kenya’s growth dwindles, Egypt’s downturn worsens and Morocco struggles
  • Africa’s jobs market registers eleven months of decline

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 1.0 index points to 52.2 in January, driven mainly by high price inflation and improved employment levels. 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 fourth consecutive month in January. This level, indicates that the Pan-African economy is continuing in a period of shallow contraction. South Africa is now leading the downward trend, with Egypt and other North African countries causing the drag effect. 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 now experienced 4 consecutive months of slowdown and close to stagnation. Overall, business conditions are set to remain challenging 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 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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