Bloenfontein - Limpopo's agricultural index rose by 8.6% in August. The recovery started out with field crops, with maize and sunflower being the main contributors.
The province’s abundance of platinum means that growth in the mining sector relies heavily on this precious metal. The price rise in August has helped to effect good results in this sector of the mining index, although other sectors were also positive.
The mining index rose by 0.9% year-on-year (y/y) in August, and although the uptick is slight, it is the first recorded rise since August last year. This does not necessarily predict a positive result for September, as the labour unrest in this sector will probably have a negative effect.
Manufacturing increased by 5% y/y in August, and the main contributors for this month were the subsectors for electrical machinery (up 16% y/y), food and beverage (7% y/y) and ferrous metals (9% y/y).
Domestic trade has dropped for the second consecutive quarter, by 2%. This is due to the slower growth in vehicle sales and wholesale, although vehicle sales rose overall by 12.9% y/y. Petrol sales fell by 5% y/y.
The tourism sector is still expanding and the number of tourists grew by 3.1% y/y.
Retailers are facing strong competition and although general sales increased by a modest 1,5% y/y, there was a drop in the sales of furniture (-5%) and hardware (-1%) over the same period.
The index for transport and communication contracted by 5% on a quaterly basis, following a quarterly drop of 4% in July. Communication, measured as a countrywide index, grew by 15.6% y/y, a smaller increase that the previous two months.
The rise can be ascribed mainly to the growth in data transmission and cellphone minutes.
The decline in electricity usage continues and in August the index fell by 9% on a quarterly basis. This is the fourth consecutive month that the index declined, and this trend is expected to continue as long as mines are struggling.
The construction index rose by 14.3% y/y in August and by 6% on a quarterly basis.
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