After surprising on the upside in January, manufacturing sector activity weakened sharply in February as power shortages hit factories hard.

The Absa purchasing managers’ index (PMI), released on Wednesday and compiled by the Stellenbosch-based Bureau for Economic Research in partnership with the bank, fell to 48.8 index points in February, down from 53 in January, 51.3 in December, and well below the market consensus of 50...

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