South Africa Industrial production April 2020

South Africa

South Africa: Manufacturing activity drops at record pace in April

July 10, 2020

Manufacturing output nosedived 49.4% year-on-year in April (March: -5.5% yoy). The figure marked the worst reading on record.

Looking at the details of the release, April's drop was largely driven by a fall in production of basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery. Furthermore, production also contracted sharply in the petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products; motor vehicles, parts and accessories, and other transport equipment; food and beverages; and wood and wood products, paper, publishing and printing sub-sectors.

On a monthly basis, manufacturing output plunged 44.3% in seasonally-adjusted terms in April, which was notably greater than March’s 1.2% fall and marked the worst result on record. Moreover, the trend pointed down, with the annual average variation of manufacturing production coming in at minus 6.4%, down from March's minus 1.9%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project manufacturing output to contract 12.5% in 2020, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2021, the panel forecasts manufacturing output to expand 3.5%.

Author:, Research Team Manager

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