South Africa manufacturing output contracted for the eighth straight month in January as fewer wood products, paper and vehicles were made.
Manufacturing output fell 2% from a year earlier, compared with a 5.9% decline in the December, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said Thursday on its website. The median estimate of 10 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 4.3% contraction.
While production increased 2.5% compared with December, the drag on factory output is likely to continue. A gauge tracking expected business conditions in six months’ time, measured in Absa Group ’s Purchasing Managers Index, fell to the lowest level in more than a decade in February, indicating that sentiment in the industry may worsen.
Power cuts, which weighed on output in January, are expected to continue for at least 18 months, according to state utility Eskom Holdings.