South Africa: Decline in manufacturing activity softens in May
Manufacturing output dropped 0.2% in month-on-month seasonally-adjusted terms in May, which was an improvement from April’s 5.7% decrease. Looking at the details of the release, May’s improvement was broad-based. Petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products and basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery activity rebounded from May’s contraction. Meanwhile, food and beverages production contracted at a markedly softer rate.
On an annual basis, manufacturing output fell at a more moderate rate of 2.3% in May (April: -7.6% yoy). Meanwhile, the trend pointed down, with the annual average variation of manufacturing production coming in at an over one-year low of minus 0.7%, contrasting April’s plus 1.8%.