Picture: SOWETAN
Picture: SOWETAN

Production from SA's factories remained nearly at the same level in September as in the same month in 2017, Statistics SA reported on Thursday.

Annual growth in manufacturing production slowed to 0.1% in September's from August's 1.5% which in turn slowed from July's 2.7% growth.

Average manufacturing output growth for the three months to end-September came to 1.7%, helping offset a a 2.2% decline in mining output reported by Stats SA on Thursday morning.

Stats SA's manufacturing production index, which was set to 100 points in 2015, came to 105.3 points in September, down from 106.7 points in August and 105.2 points in September 2017.

SA's factories sold a total of R208bn worth of goods in September, up from August's R204bn and R191bn in September 2017.

The monthly changes in factory output measured by Stats SA tend to be foreshadowed by the Absa-sponsored purchasing managers' index (PMI) which is usually published on the first business day of each month. 

In September, the manufacturing PMI came to 44.5 points, down from 45.2 in August. A level under 50 points indicates contraction.

There will be further clues as to whether SA escaped a third consecutive quarter of GDP contraction in the third quarter when Stats SA releases September's retail trade sales figures on November 14, and wholesale and motor trade sales figures on November 15.