Johannesburg, 7 June 2018 – The decrease in metals and engineering sector production output in April, following a positive trajectory during the early months of the year, is very disappointing, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Economist Marique Kruger said today.
Speaking after the the release of the latest preliminary seasonally-adjusted production data, which indicated that output in the Metals and Engineering (M&E) sector decelerated in April, Ms Kruger said , the Federation’s wad deeply concerned. She said this was especially so because “a vast majority of the sub-sectors performed poorly, recording negative output levels”.
After adjusting for the sectoral weights, the Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) data indicated that production for the M&E sector decelerated to -7.7 percent in April 2018 on a year-on-year basis. On a month-on-month basis, the sector also failed to perform well, registering a growth of -11.8 percent in April 2018 when compared to March 2018. This is despite an increase of 1.1 percent in output for the broader manufacturing sector in April 2018.
Ms Krugersaid notwithstanding the general improvement in sentiments including business and consumer confidence in recent months, producers have found it very difficult to take advantage of existing buoyancy, as evidence by the contraction in the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the first quarter of 2018.
She said this was indicative of continuous lack of demand for final and intermediate manufactured goods, impacting negatively on production within the sector.
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