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Manufacturing output climbs 2%

Feb 07 2013 13:51 Reuters

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Johannesburg - South Africa's manufacturing output undershot market expectations in December, growing 2.0% year-on-year in volume terms, compared with a revised 3.7% in November, Statistics South Africa said on Thursday.

Economists had forecast 2.8% growth in factory output.

On a month-on-month basis production fell by a seasonally adjusted 2.2% but grew 1.6% in the three months to December compared with the previous quarter.

Peter Attard Montalto, economist at Nomura said, "This piece of data shows the drag on the economy from exports and a lack of domestic private sector investments into year end, though with more underlying buoyancy than expected into the end of the year.

"We still expect more impact from the second round effects of mining unrest to come through in the first quarter.

"This is one of the last fourth quarter data prints and our tracking model puts fourth quarter GDP currently at around 2.1% year-on-year, down from 2.3% previously after this data."

The rand was steady at R8.8890 against the dollar at 11:11 GMT.

Government bonds were also unchanged with the yield on the 2015 issue at 5.31% and that on the 2026 issue at 7.315%.

The manufacturing sector contributes about 15% of gross domestic product and is key for creating employment in an economy with an official jobless rate of a quarter of the labour force. 

Manufacturing output increased by 2.6% in 2011, only half of the expansion seen in 2010.

South Africa plans to spend R5.8bn over the next three years to help manufacturers affected by the global economic downturn upgrade their factories, improve products and train workers.  

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manufacturing output  |  sa economy

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