Figures from Stats SA, released on Thursday, reveal that seasonally adjusted manufacturing production fell by 0,3% in the three to May compared to the previous three months. On an annual basis, basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery production fell by 5,8%.
In the case of iron and steel, the decline was also evident from figures released earlier in the day which showed that iron ore sales from April had plunged by 39,6%. Petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products fell by 4,6%.
Over a three-month period, wood and wood products, paper, printing and publishing rose by 0,8% while radio, television and communication apparatus rose by 7,3% and motor vehicle parts and accessories were up by 6,1%. Manufacturing reached its most recent peak in May 2008, with index points of just above 115 points. It plunged when the recession struck in 2008, falling to below 95 index points and over the past three years have been erratic and fluctuated between 100 and 110 index points.