Horrific decline in manufacturing output
Manufacturing and mining output plunged in July after a wave of strikes swept the country and manufacturing production was down by 6% compared with the same month last year according to figures released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA).
Business Day reports that the decline is the biggest fall in nearly two years and much worse than the consensus forecast of a decline of 0,5%. Manufacturing output also fell by 6% in July compared with June.
Nedbank economist Nicky Weimar says that the statistics are "horrific" and reflects a general weakness from the downturn in global markets as well as the loss of competitiveness of local products. This, she says, is partly due to escalating production costs and the strong rand.
Mining output was also sharply down, falling by 5,1% compared with July last year. Manufacturing and mining account for just over 20% of South Africa's overall output and formal employment.