CZI manufacturing sector report out next month

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says results of the 2019 manufacturing sector survey will be released at the end of next month with the average industrial productivity performance anticipated to decline. 

Speaking by telephone from Harare yesterday, CZI chief executive officer Ms Sekai Kuvarika said this year’s survey was still being conducted with the results expected to be out at the end of November.

“We are still collecting the data on the performance of various sub-sectors of the manufacturing industry. 

“We expect results of the manufacturing sector survey for this year to be out sometime at the end of November,” she said.

The survey covers 10 industrial sectors including food stuffs, beverages, tobacco, clothing, footwear, furniture, paper (printing), chemicals, non-metallic minerals, transport and equipment.

Results for the 2018 manufacturing sector survey were released in January this year.

Capacity utilisation is a key statistic derived from the survey as it details a company and country’s industrial performance.

Average capacity utilisation is used for sub-sector statistics, which is actual output divided by potential output.

In a recent interview with Business Chronicle, CZI Matabeleland Chapter president Mr Shepherd Chawira said capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector is this year seen dropping to about 30 percent.

Last year, the average industrial capacity utilisation grew by 3,1 percent to an average of 48,2 percent with foreign currency and policy inconsistency cited among the major drawbacks.

Mr Chawira said the projected drop in capacity utilisation this year was largely due to negative macro-economic factors that hit Zimbabwe since January. 

While Government has laid out progressive policies guided by the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and Vision 2030, the prevailing economic outlook continues to erode the gains achieved in the previous year. 

Despite the significant support Government availed to industry last year in the form of scarce foreign currency for the procurement of raw materials, there was still an inverse relationship to the value of exports generated.

In its latest report covering the period between February and August this year, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency revealed that the country’s trade deficit had declined by 63 percent to US$644 million from US$1,73 billion in the comparable period last year.

However, despite the narrowing down of the trade deficit during the period under review, the value of imports during the period under review totalled $2,79 billion against exports worth $2,15 billion.

During the same period in 2018, the value of imports stood at $4,13 billion against exports worth $2,41 billion.

The Government has challenged the manufacturing industry to shift its focus more towards import substitution strategies to enable the country to conserve its limited hard currency. —