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SECTORAL LEVEL ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The EC division published a fifth further enhanced version of its State of the Metals and Engineering Sector Report in January 2018. The Report which entails research triangulation and robust statistical analyses (including descriptive, inferential and statistical modelling) takes an annual look of the sector, elaborating on the drivers and underlying dynamics of observed variables like production, demand, employment, intermediate input costs, profit trends, export competitiveness, investment and capacity utilization.

Over the years, the Sector Report has become the benchmark for monitoring business activities and developing economic trends on a sub-industry and sector level. The sub-industries covered included the rubber, plastics, basic ferrous, basic non-ferrous, metal products, machinery and equipment, household appliances, electrical machinery and equipment, transport equipment as well as parts and accessories for motor vehicles. Tracking progress of these various sub-components during the year relative to the initial prognosis and outlook proved to be a powerful tool for understanding the health of the sector.

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The report relies on recognized external sources of data. These include Statistics South Africa, the South African Reserve Revenue Services, Quantec and the World Bank. These are complemented by other sources such as the Economic Trend South Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation. The availability of accurate and credible economic information on sub-industry level is a resource available to members, but not fully utilised. Great effort was made to ensure that the type of data used, the sources and the methods employed in compiling the data are bench-marked to both national and international standards.

The information is analysed in a unique way to produce an overview of the national and international standards. The information is analysed in a unique way to produce an overview of the national and international standards. The information is analysed in a unique way to produce an overview of the national and international environment, vividly depicting the state of the local M&E cluster, highlighting the important drivers of growth and concluding with a predictive annual outlook.

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