‘Spluttering economy’ drives down manufacturing output


A deceleration in  manufacturing output “does not augur well for businesses in the manufacturing sector, including the metals and engineering (M&E) cluster, which continuously faces headwinds underpinned by low domestic demand, unpredictable energy supply and high petrol prices”, according to a major manufacturing lobby group.

“These all  add to the increasing logistics costs of companies. A positive performance is therefore imperative towards improving the domestic economy for the first quarter of 2019,” said  Dr Michael Ade, chief economist for the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa).

He was reacting to preliminary data released by Statistics South Africa on Thursday, April 11, showing that production in the broader manufacturing decreased on a year-on-year basis in February, compared with January this year.

“However, in spite of the difficult operational environment, Seifsa remains confident that companies within the M&E cluster will stay resilient and navigate the challenges posed by a spluttering economy,” said Ade.


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