Manufacturing production grew in March despite expectations of a contraction.  Manufacturing production grew 1.2% in March, after the sector saw subdued growth of 0.5% in February. This was in stark contrast to the Bloomberg consensus of a contraction of 0.2%.  The biggest growth drivers were a 7% rise in petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products, a 3.2% jump in basic iron and steel, nonferrous metal products, metal products and machinery and 1% increase in food and beverages. Production, however, decreased 2.4% in the first quarter, which will weigh on economic growth. 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 101.1 points in March, up from 95 points in February. The monthly changes in factory output measured by Statistics SA usually tend to be foreshadowed by the Absa-sp...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now