South Africa's manufacturing purchasing managers' index or PMI declined to a new record low of 35.6 in April from 36 in March, a report from Investec Asset Management showed Monday.

A reading above 50 shows expansion, while a reading below 50 signifies a contraction.

The report said the marginal fall in the PMI reading indicated that the severe downward pressure affecting the manufacturing sector were showing signs of moderating. Moreover, Investec said that while most sub-indicators remained in contraction, the data showed some signs of stabilizing, ending the steep declines seen at the end of 2008 and in early 2009.

In April, the business activity index rose to 32.8 from 31.2, while the new sales orders index moved up to 33.7 from 32.6 in March. The expected business conditions index increased to 48.3 from 46.6. However, the price index as also the employment index decreased.

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