FIN24 reports that, following the release on Thursday, 7 June 2012, of weak manufacturing production figures from Statistics SA, a Bureau for Economic Research (BER) manufacturing survey released on Friday said that manufacturing business confidence plunged 18 index points to 29 in the second quarter.
This is the lowest level of manufacturing business confidence in two years‚ and it indicates the extent to which manufacturers are losing confidence in current operating conditions. BER economist Christelle Grobler said that the drop in confidence is somewhat sharper that expected.
Earlier, FIN24 said that South Africa's manufacturing output was weaker than expected in April -- as export demand remained sluggish. This added to signs that economic recovery is hesitant and strengthened the case for an interest rate cut later this year. Other data released on Thursday indicated that Africa's biggest economy is headed for prolonged strain as production and demand for its minerals remains low, its trade partners are buying fewer of its manufactured goods and local businesses see the outlook as being the bleakest in about a decade.
Read Manufacturing confidence down - survey
Read Rate cut expectations rise