A surprisingly strong performance by the mining industry in August augurs well for the third quarter’s GDP performance. Mining production rose a significant 6.9% year on year in August, having expanded 0.9% year on year in June. Chamber of Mines economist Henk Langenhoven said: "There’s so much talk about the commodity price improvement and whether it would last. It has lasted for a while and the exchange rate has stayed stable, which has led to the improvement despite economists’ expectations for it to drop." Capital Economics economist John Ashbourne said figures suggested that the sector remained strong. "This marked the sector’s strongest growth since March. The gold, iron, and diamond sectors made the largest contributions to growth. But output rose across almost the entire mining industry," he said. According to FNB senior economic analyst Jason Muscat: "While the global environment remains supportive of both commodity prices and output, the August print far exceeded our expec...

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