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The Sales Managers Index: South Africa

Released: January 17, 2017


South African Economy Contracts in January 

  • Market Growth Index falls to 49.0, below the level that separates growth from contraction
  • Monthly sales growth falls sharply
  • Business confidence stalls

Business conditions in South Africa deteriorated further in January, with the Headline Sales Managers’ (SMI) – a composite indicator designed to provide the most up-to-date assessment of business activity fell to 49.0. Coupled with falling sales and contracting market growth, this suggests a contraction in overall economic activity. Monthly sales have fallen, as expressed by the Sales Growth Index (47.0), in line with business confidence levels that suggests optimism has waned. Companies have been reporting job losses for the past eight months, with the January Staffing Levels index recording 46.1. Overall, the latest SMI data suggests that the situation in South Africa is deteriorating rapidly and managers are reporting little optimism that conditions will improve over the coming few months.



Headline Sales Managers' Index



Market Growth Index




Sales Managers' Index Trends

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




Prices Charged 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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