According to the manufacturing circle’s quarterly bulletin, elevated input costs, subdued demand, stiff competition and instability in labour relations affected the manufacturing sector.
The manufacturing circle includes a number of SA’s leading manufacturing companies from various industries.
The release of its quarterly bulletin follows an announcement of Statistics SA earlier this week that showed an expansion of 1.3% in manufacturing output during 2013.
According to the survey, the majority of firms envisages fra-gile to stable conditions within the sector in the short term due to the possibility of strikes, socio-political instability and an increase in input costs as a result of a weaker rand.
“Seasonal factors, depressed domestic consumption spending and increased competitiveness resulted in a lackluster performance of manufacturing sales in the fourth quarter of 2013,” the survey says.
Input costs remained high du-ring the quarter, while telecommunication and logistical challenges, raw material scarcities and electricity and water supply interruptions impacted a number of production processes.