Policy uncertainty continues to affect the manufacturing sector, rattling business confidence. A Bureau for Economic Research (BER) survey released on Monday showed business confidence in the sector declined to 28 index points in the first quarter of 2017. The survey said 72% of its respondents were despondent. The index has remained pessimistically below 50 points since 2011. Anything above 50 shows a vibrant sector. Manufacturing Circle, an organisation representing SA’s leading medium to large manufacturing firms from a wide range of industries, expects expansion in manufacturing investment for the first quarter. Responding to the survey, Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth said: "Our quarter four 2016 Manufacturing Circle Investment Tracker report anticipated expansion in manufacturing investment for quarter one 2017, which is borne out by the [manufacturing production results]." She said the manufacturing sector would only have sustained growth in the long ...

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