South Africa's private sector returned to growth in September as domestic demand picked up, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The Standard Bank Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, rose to 50.7 from 49.8 in August, its highest in 17 months and the first time since May that it has been above the 50 mark dividing expansion from contraction.
"Part of the rise in activity was attributed by firms to increased new order intakes, which grew for the second month running," Markit said. "Survey data suggested that the increase in overall new
business was driven by the domestic market, as new export orders fell at the fastest pace in 10 months."
South African firms have borne the brunt of sluggish economic growth since a 2009 recession, with GDP expansion seen little above zero percent this year.