Manufacturing production bounces back following July unrest

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August manufacturing production recorded its first monthly rise since March.
August manufacturing production recorded its first monthly rise since March.
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  • Manufacturing production increased 7.6% during August, compared to the -8.4% contraction recorded in July because of civil unrest.
  • On a year-on-year basis, manufacturing production lifted 1.8%, surpassing economists' expectation of growth of less than 1%.
  • The major contributors to growth were food and beverages, motor vehicles, and basic iron and steel products.

Manufacturing production rebounded in August following the negative impact of unrest during July.

Stats SA on Tuesday released August's manufacturing production data. On a year-on-year basis, production lifted 1.8%. Economists from the Bureau for Economic Research had expected year-on-year growth of 0.2% after July's year-on-year contraction of 4.1%.

On a month-on-month basis, manufacturing production increased 7.6% in August. This followed a month-on-month contraction of 8.4% recorded in July and modest growth of 0.5% in June.


The August Purchasing Managers' Index - a measure of economic activity in the manufacturing sector - had signalled a rebound during August. It climbed from a low of 43.5 points in July to 57.9 points in August. A move above 50 indicates improvement, while a move below 50 indicates a deterioration in activity.

Stats SA's director of industry statistics, Nicolai Claassen, highlighted that this was the first monthly rise in production since March 2021 and the biggest monthly increase since June 2020.

"All ten manufacturing divisions recorded an increase in production in August," Claassen said.

The major contributors to the year-on-year growth included food and beverages, motor vehicles, basic iron and steel, wood and wood products and furniture categories.

The largest negative contributions was made by the petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products division, Stats SA said.

As for sales, these increased 10.3% in August 2021, compared to July which reflected a contraction of 13.8%.

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