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South Africa Leading Index Rises In March

South Africa’s leading index increased in March, survey data from the South African Reserve Bank showed on Tuesday.

The leading index rose to 104.0 in March from 103.3 in February.

Five of the eight components increased in March, while three decreased from the previous month, the central bank said.

The largest positive contributions came from a marked widening in the interest rate spread and an acceleration in the twelve-month percentage change in job advertisement space, the bank said.

The largest negative contributions came from a fall in the US dollar-denominated South African export commodity price index and a deceleration in the twelve-month percentage change in the number of new passenger vehicles sold.

In March, coronavirus, or Covid-19, related global and domestic risk aversion caused distortions to some of the component series, the bank said.

The coincident index fell to 102.3 in February from 102.8 in January.

The lagging index fell to 94.4 in February from 94.6 in the prior month.

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