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Rand Losing Steam Despite Business Confidence and PMI Advances

Rand Losing Steam Despite Business Confidence and PMI Advances

Walker England, Kara Dailey,

Talking Points:

  • HSBC and Kagiso PMI expand reaching new multi-period highs
  • SACCI Business Confidence Index improved 2.0 points in November
  • USDZAR trades near resistance in a consolidating triangle

Building on the momentum garnered from last week’s GDP and BER Business Confidence reports are this week’s expansionary HSBC and Kagiso PMI reports, as well as the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business confidence survey and Statistics South Africa’s producer price index.

Compiled by Markit, the HSBC South Africa PMI was reported to have reached a 21 month high after rapidly increasing from 51.1 in August to 52.6 in September. Driven mainly by the domestic market, the sub -index, new orders, improved at the fastest rate in 2 years. The employment and purchasing activity indices also factored an increase, indicating a rebound in the private sector economy.

Akin to HSBC’s PMI report, the Bureau of Economic Research’s Kagiso PMI also registered a multi-period high. Reported on the first working day of the month, the indicator increased 3.2 index points to reach 53.3—the uppermost level in 13 months. Averaged with October’s 50.1, the 4th quarter’s average now stands 3.8 points above that of the 3rd quarter, further suggesting an improvement in operating conditions.

Tapering off, the Producer Price Index increased at a slower rate in October (+6.7%) relative to September (+6.9%). However, from a month-to-month perspective the price level for final manufactured goods rose in October by 0.3%. The main contributors to the monthly increase were wood and paper products (+2.3%) metals, machinery and computing equipment (+0.8%) and food, beverage, and tobacco products (+0.7%). Contributing secondarily was the agricultural, forestry and fishing industry (+2.1%).

With an increasing number of participants forecasting expansion in the manufacturing sector, it comes with little surprise that the SACCI Business Confidence also saw an improvement, similar to that of the BER Business Confidence reported last week. November’s index, at 90.8, improved 2.0 points over October’s 88.8. Positive year-over-year changes came from the municipal services, manufacturing, and private sector borrowing categories. The report however notes that downside risks still exist, particularly with respect to rising US dollar commodity prices and sluggish economies among trading partners.

USD/ZAR Daily Chart

dailfx dollar rand chart.

Chart Created by Walker England Using MarketScope2.0

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