South Africa’s manufacturing output falls 16.3% year on year in June


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s manufacturing output fell 16.3% year on year in June after contracting by 32.4% in May, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.

Factory production however was up 16.8% in June month on month, but declined 30.2% in the three months to the end of June, Statistics South Africa said.

Meanwhile, the South Africa’s rand weakened early on Tuesday, remaining on the back foot after a national holiday that kept liquidity low and investors tentative ahead of local manufacturing data.

At 0700 GMT the rand was 0.07% weaker at 17.7000 per dollar, having touched 17.7800 overnight, its weakest level in close to 12 weeks.

The currency has suffered sharp losses in the past two weeks, losing around 8% of its value against the dollar as sentiment towards emerging market currencies soured with a pickup in the global economy seeming to be slower than initially hoped.

In the past session, stalled talks in the U.S. Congress over a stimulus deal kept investors cautious, leaving the rand with little forward momentum.

Statistics South Africa publishes June manufacturing figures at 1100 GMT. The figures will give investors some idea of the pace of the economic recovery since the easing of lockdown restrictions allowed for more activity.

Bonds also weakened in early trade, with the yield on the benchmark 2030 government issue adding 2 basis points to 9.255%.