South Africa Industry March 2018

South Africa

South Africa: Manufacturing output slumps in March

May 10, 2018

An early estimate showed manufacturing output contracting on an annual basis in March, the weakest reading in half a year just as other sectors of the economy appeared to be heading for an upturn. According to Statistics South Africa, year-on-year manufacturing output fell 1.3% in March, contrasting February’s revised 0.5% rise (previously reported: +0.6% year-on-year). March’s print reflected sharp contractions in consumer-facing sectors, including textiles and electronics, as well as weaker readings in the energy and steelmaking industries. Automotive manufacturing, on the other hand, was the rare uptick in the month.

In month-on-month terms, manufacturing output rose by a seasonally-adjusted 1.3% in March, reversing February’s 2.3% fall. Meanwhile, the annual average variation in manufacturing output ticked down from minus 0.1% to minus 0.2%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect manufacturing output to rise 1.0% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2019, the panel expects manufacturing output to expand 1.3%.


Author:, Economist

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South Africa Manufacturing March 2018

Note: Year-on-year changes and annual average variation of manufacturing production index in %.
Source: Statistics South Africa (Stat SA) and FocusEconomics calculations.


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