Today's Labour News

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newsBusiness Report writes that business activity in SA stagnated in September, with the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) hitting a 14-month low at 43.2 index points in September from 43.4 points in August.  

The Bureau for Economic Research (BER), which compiles the data for Absa, indicated that the PMI averaged 46 points in the third quarter.  It noted that the slide was underpinned by three of the five sub-indices, with new sales orders declining to 39.6 points from 39.9 points in August.  The employment index fell 3.5% to 42 points, while sales orders and inventories deteriorated 2.2% and 0.3 points respectively.  While business activity edged up slightly by 1.5 points, it remained subdued at 38.7 points, “indicating that manufacturing output is under significant pressure.”  Gerrit van Rooyen of NKC Economics said the employment sub-index fell to its weakest level in more than four years, which would dash any hopes of improved employment in the manufacturing sector in the third quarter.  He added that that was troubling, given that employment in the sector has declined by about 55,000 over the past year.  The PMI is a reliable gauge of where production numbers are headed.


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