Factory output falls again for June, but rate of decline is slowing

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A worker assembles a dashboard on production line.
A worker assembles a dashboard on production line.
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South Africa's manufacturing output fell by 16.3% in June as the nationwide lockdown and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to suppress economic activity. 

While the decrease was larger than any month between January 2015 and December 2019, it was still lower than April and May this year, when factory output slumped by 49.3% and 32.4%. 

This indicates that factories are slowly upping their production as they try to return to 2019 levels, but have not reached last year's levels yet. 

According to Stats SA, the output of iron and steel, food and beverages, and motor vehicles suffered the largest drops when compared to June 2019.  

Seasonally adjusted manufacturing production, meanwhile, decreased by 30.2% in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the first quarter of 2020, said Stats SA. All ten manufacturing divisions reported negative growth rates. 

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