Factory output falters in February
By Sunita Menon - Apr 12th 2017, 12:06
Six of the 10 manufacturing divisions reported negative growth rates over the three months to the end of February
After a slight improvement in manufacturing production and signs the sector was picking up, output fell again in February.
Manufacturing production decreased 3.6% in February 2017 compared with February 2016, while seasonally adjusted manufacturing production decreased 0.4% in February 2017 compared with January 2017.
This followed a month-on-month decline of 0.6% in January 2017.
Seasonally adjusted manufacturing production also decreased 0.8% in the three months ended February 2017 compared with the previous three months.
Six of the 10 manufacturing divisions reported negative growth rates over this period.
The Absa manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) indicated that the sector had dipped slightly lower and that the Cabinet reshuffle could have far-reaching consequences.
The drag came from petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic; food and beverages; glass and nonmetallic mineral products; and wood and wood products, paper, publishing and printing.
Commenting on the decline in the petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic and food and beverages sub-sectors, Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth said, “These two sub-sectors alone constitute nearly half of manufacturing production in SA.”
“Of course, we are not going to rely on just one set of numbers, and there have been other recent statistical releases which have painted a slightly less worrying picture,” Rodseth said.
“However, manufacturing is the engine of the SA economy, and the fall in production in the year to February is alarming."© BusinessLIVE MMXVII
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