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The Sales Managers Index: South Africa

Released: February 21, 2017


South African Economy Continues to Contract
  • Market Growth Index remains below 50 for second consecutive month
  • Business confidence falls in February
  • Job losses continue for the ninth consecutive month

Business conditions in South Africa continued to deteriorate in February, with the Headline Sales Managers’ (SMI) – a composite indicator designed to provide the most up-to-date assessment of business activity reported 49.2 – continuing below the 50.0 level that separates growth from contraction. 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 (48.3), in line with business confidence levels that suggests optimism is waning. Companies have been reporting job losses for the past nine months, with the February Staffing Levels Index recording 46.4. Overall, the latest SMI data suggests that the situation in South Africa is deteriorating 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 Very Slowly
Business Confidence Falling Very slowly
Market Growth Falling Very Slowly
Sales Output Falling Slowly
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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