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Africa Business Confidence Index shows both growth and contraction

Manufacturing index 49.7, indicating contraction; non-manufacturing index 56.9, indicating expansion

The Africa Business Confidence Index (ABCI) for October shows contraction in the index for manufacturing sectors and expansion in the index for non-manufacturing sectors in Africa. The difference compared to September in the manufacturing index is a decrease of 1.6 percentage points, and for non-manufacturing a plus of 3.6 percentage points. The index measures business confidence in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing private sector throughout Africa. Results are published on a monthly basis.

The October non-manufacturing sector results indicate confidence and growth with an index of 56.9. The manufacturing index however shows contraction for the first time this year with an index of 49.7. A level of 50 and above indicates expansion. Business professionals from 30 countries in Africa participated in the survey making the results a reliable gauge and early indicator of the underlying economic activity on the African continent.


The ABCI follows a similar methodology and logic as the PMI indices which set the global standard. Members of the Africa Business Panel are business professionals and entrepreneurs working in Africa’s private sector. On a monthly basis they are invited to report change from the previous month on the following indicators: new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, inventories, costumer inventories, prices paid, backlog of orders, new export orders and imports for the manufacturing sector, and similar indicators for the non-manufacturing sector. For more information on the survey and index methodology please visit


Agyenim Boateng of Wilkins Engineering in Ghana: "Africa is gradually becoming the hub of a certain business trend championed by the Asians. This has accounted for many imports into the country thereby increasing stocks and turn around times."

George Momogos of CLT in South Africa: "Africa is waiting to see what happens in the rest of the free world economically speaking. Depending on the outcome of where Europe and the US head Africa will take it's next move from this."

Malcolm Siebert of SBS International in South Africa: "Although business activity appears to be on the rise, a cautious sentiment continues with decisions taking longer that normal. Many organisations are taking the opportunity to revisit their operational processes with a view to streamlining these wherever possible plus training and development of employees has become a priority so that when the business environment begins to normalise, they will be well positioned."

Elaine Dugmore of Kalahari Kanvas in Botswana: "At this time of the year the level of business always decreases. With regard to exports we feel that the global uncertainty generally is causing customers to think twice before ordering. The peak season for safaris in this part of the world has also slowed down considerably - normal for this time of year."

Aleem Saheed of Industrial & General Insurance IGI in Nigeria: "Due to the financial difficulties going on in Europe and revolution in north African replacing dictatorship government to Democratic leaders, Africa is now save zone and industrial comfort for the investors."


Manufacturing ABCI at 49.7

In October, the Manufacturing Confidence Index registered 49.7, indicating contraction in the manufacturing sector, after 9 months of growth. A reading above 50 percent indicates the manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates the manufacturing sector is generally contracting.


At 49.7, the Manufacturing Confidence Index is 1.6 percentage points lower than the 51.3 in September.


The Manufacturing Index is calculated based on the following indicators: New Orders, Production, Employment, Supplier Deliveries and Inventories.



October 2011 Manufacturing Confidence Index Summaries

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in October, according to African entrepreneurs in the Manufacturing ABCI.



October ABCI Results Highlights:

Private sector business confidence index for the African continent

  •  African business professionals from 30 countries in Africa participated in this survey
  • Manufacturing sector confidence index 49.7; non-manufacturing 56.9
  • These levels indicate contraction for manufacturing sectors and expansion for non- manufacturing sectors in October


About Africa Business Panel

Africa Business Panel (ABP) is a joint initiative of Africa Business Communities ( , a fast-growing network of African entrepreneurs and business professionals, and NarrowMinds (, a leading architect of online market research and loyalty programs.


Africa Business Panel generates reliable indices on business developments and economic outlook in Africa. In doing so, Africa Business Panel wishes to contribute to the continent’s business reputation and produce in-depth market research data for governments, the business community and international organizations. Africa Business Panel provides intelligent matches for African business professionals with the rest of the world which results in promising business opportunities.


Join the Panel

Business professionals based in Africa are invited to join the Africa Business Panel. As a member of the Panel your insights and opinions directly contribute to the Africa Business Confidence Index. Panel members benefit by participating: the outcome of the survey results are shared with Panel members directly and in greater detail than with non-members. All surveys are permission based, allowing you to decide when and to what degree you wish to participate. Your personal details are treated strictly confidential by the Africa Business Panel. No personal information is ever published or sold to third parties. If you qualify, please go to and click on Register and shine your light on the business climate in Africa!


For more information:

Africa Business Panel/NarrowMinds

+31 (0)20 8465599

Van Heenvlietlaan 220

1083 CN Amsterdam

The Netherlands

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