Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

Production from SA’s factories was boosted considerably in October compared with the same month in 2017, Statistics SA reported on Tuesday.

Annual growth in manufacturing production grew 3% in October after remaining flat at 0.1% in September. This was considerably higher than the Bloomberg consensus of 0.8%.

The biggest growth drivers were a 6.5% rise in food and beverages, a 14% uptick in motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment, and a 3.2% increase in basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery.

Compared with the month before, manufacturing production grew 1.1% in October.

Stats SA’s manufacturing production index, which was set to 100 points in 2015, came to 113.4 points in October, up from 105.3 points in September and 110.1 points in October 2017.

The monthly changes in factory output measured by Stats SA usually 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 October, the manufacturing PMI declined for a third consecutive month to reach 42.4 index points. A level under 50 points indicates a contraction in the sector.

However, in recent months the production figures and the survey have not been in tandem.

menons@businesslive.co.za