Manufacturing output contracted more than expected in February, extending an almost 21-month decline in production, as structural constraints such as power shortages and lack of investment continue to weigh on SA’s pandemic-hit economy.

The country’s overall factory output decreased an annual 2.1% in February, after a revised 4.2% decline the previous month, Stats SA said in a report on Thursday. The drop in production was led by declines in the output of petroleum, chemicals, rubber, plastics, furniture and metal products and was worse than the 0.3% drop predicted by the median estimate of seven analysts polled by Bloomberg before the report. Seasonally adjusted manufacturing output decreased 1.2% in February 2021 compared with the month before...

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