Manufacturing sector concerned about its future
By Sunita Menon - Aug 3rd 2018, 14:20
For the first time in 11 months, the subindex tracking expected business conditions in six months’ time dropped to below 50.
As the manufacturing sector bleeds jobs, factory owners are worried about its future. This comes as employment statistics show that the sector lost 55,000 jobs year on year in the second quarter.
The seasonally adjusted Absa purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 51.5 index points in July, up from 47.9 in June.
However, the PMI pointed to a grim view for the rest of 2018. For the first time in 11 months, the subindex tracking expected business conditions in six months’ time dropped to below 50.
Unresolved trade disputes between the US and its major trading partners continued domestic political uncertainty, higher fuel prices and the intermittent return of power interruptions would weigh on business conditions in the manufacturing sector in coming months, said NKC analyst Gerrit van Rooyen.
"The manufacturing industry reversed all its job gains from the previous two quarters, in line with deteriorating business conditions in the industry," Van Rooyen said.
The manufacturing sector was extremely responsive to changes in the global and local environments, the Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth said. She added that the sector still had a long way to go to see a turnaround.
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