MANUFACTURING production in South Africa fell by 2.5 percent for the three months ended October this year compared with the previous three months, Statistics South Africa reported this week.
Figures released on Tuesday indicate that seven of the 10 main manufacturing divisions reported negative growth rates over this period.
Motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment experienced the biggest drop of 30.3 percent mainly due to a protracted labour unrest over wage increases and improved working conditions during the period under review.
Production in the food and beverages sector was down 1.2 percent; textiles, clothing, leather and footwear eased 3.5 percent; glass and non-metallic mineral products went down by 1.7 percent; basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery was down 3.2 percent; furniture and other manufacturing divisions shed 0.5 percent; and electrical machinery was 0.7 percent lower.
On an annual basis, manufacturing production increased by 1.5 percent in October this year compared with the same period last year.
The 1.5 percent year-on-year increase in manufacturing production in October this year was mainly due to higher production in the food and beverages division which increased by 3.7 percent; motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment 6.7 percent; and basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery 2.5 percent.
Nedbank said in a statement this week that the outlook for the manufacturing sector remains subdued and that exports might take long to pick up due to weak global growth conditions.
The financial house said the performance of local-orientated industries was expected to be undermined by reduced household spending and relatively subdued fixed investment activity.
“We anticipate that the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will continue to strike a balance between weak growth and rising inflation by maintaining its accommodative monetary policy stance well into 2014,” read part of the Nedbank statement.
Meanwhile, the headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) annual inflation rate dropped to 5.3 percent in November after shedding 0.2 percentage points from the October figure of 5.5 percent, Stats SA reported on Wednesday.
It said the 28 cents a litre drop in the price of petrol between October and November was one of the main reasons for the drop in the inflation rate.
Provinces with an annual inflation rate lower than or equal to headline inflation were the Western Cape with 5.3 percent, Mpumalanga 5.1 percent, Northern Cape 5.0 percent, KwaZulu-Natal 4.9 percent, Eastern Cape 4.8 percent and North West 4.6 percent.
The provinces with an annual inflation rate higher than headline inflation were Limpopo at 5.7 percent, Free State 5.6 percent and Gauteng 5.4 percent.