Manufacturing flat, mining up in year-on-year

According to Statistics South Africa, South Africa’s manufacturing output was flat year-on-year (YoY) in September, after expanding by 2.2% in August. Meanwhile, mining production was up by 3,4% YoY, due largely to platinum group metals, iron ore and coal.

Factory production was up 1.5% on a month-on-month basis but dropped down 1.3% in the three months to September, when compared with the prior three months.

Seasonally adjusted mining production was up by 0.9% in September, following month-on-month changes of 2.3% in August and -2.4% in July this year. Seasonally adjusted mining production was up by 1.5% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter, with iron ore the largest positive contributor (3.3 percentage points).

Economists polled by Reuters forecast only a 0.1% year-on-year increase in manufacturing volumes. Meanwhile, mining experts have said the outlook for the sector remains poor due to low commodity prices, weak global and local demand, infrastructure constraints and an uncertain policy environment.