SA’s manufacturing output growth decelerated sharply to 0.6% in February from 2.3% in January, dashing expectations of an up-tick.The economists’ consensus from a poll by Trading Economics was that February would see an acceleration to 2.6%. Tuesday’s report from Statistics SA also revised the January figure down from the originally reported 2.5%.Sectors that contributed to the disappointing figure for February included paper and printing, which reported a 3.1% decline in output over the year; oil production, which declined 2.8%; and iron and steel production, which declined 0.3%.The clothing and textile sector also reported a 4.2% decline in production, with footwear production falling 13.8%.Manufacturing sectors that reported growth included food and beverages, which grew 4.3%, a slowdown from 9.4% in January.Vehicle factories accelerated production to 5.5% from 5.2% in January.Stats SA’s manufacturing volume index, which was set to 100 points in 2015, rose to 94.6 points in Febru...

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