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Sasol's synfuel saves the day

By unknown | Jul 11, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

The boom time Sasol's synfuel operations are enjoying kept South Africa's overall manufacturing growth just above water despite the crash suffered by car makers and other factories.

Measured by volume, factory output was 0,7percent higher in May this year than May last year, according to Statistics South Africa's manufacturing output index.

Measured by value, May's total sales grew 21percent to R114billion from the same time last year.

Dennis Dykes, Nedbank's chief economist, said: "Slow growth in manufacturing output in May, combined with the latest report of declines in vehicle sales and retail sales add to the overwhelming evidence of a slowdown in the economy.

"However, the Reserve Bank's focus is likely to remain on inflation. Inflation and inflation expectations are expected to peak only after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in August. This makes another 50 basis point interest rate hike in August likely."

Danelee van Dyk, a Standard Bank economist, said various leading indicators pointed to the manufacturing sector heading for a recession, but the country overall should escape this.

"We believe that the infrastructure development and the fixed investment drive currently taking place is strong enough to prevent the economy from entering a period of recession, continued weakness in household demand notwithstanding," she said.


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