The Manufacturing Circle, which represents major South African industries, says it is shocked by the poor manufacturing production figures, released by Statistics SA on Tuesday. The data shows manufacturing production recorded a sharp decline in February 2017, falling 3.6% compared to February 2016. This was led by petroleum, chemical and plastic products, which fell 6.6%, followed by food and beverages, which fell 3.6%. "These two subsectors alone constitute nearly half of manufacturing production in SA," Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth said.

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