Manufacturing growth remains tepid in February
Load-shedding has weighed on production volumes, keeping growth constrained
Manufacturing production grew 0.6% in February, after the sector saw subdued growth of 0.3% in January. This was slightly above the Bloomberg consensus of 0.5%.
The biggest growth drivers were a 3.2% rise in food and beverages, and a 2.9% uptick in petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products.
While the sector has seen growth in recent months, the re-emergence of load-shedding has weighed on production volumes, keeping growth constrained.
Statistics SA’s manufacturing production index, which was at 100 points in 2015, came in at 95.1 points in February, up from 88.2 points in January.
The monthly changes in factory output measured by Statistics SA usually tend to be foreshadowed by the Absa-sponsored purchasing managers index (PMI), which is published on the first business day of each month.
The PMI, which gauges activity in the manufacturing industry, fell to 46.2 points in February, indicating a contraction.
However, in recent months, the PMI and production figures have not been in tandem.