South African manufacturing growth accelerated to 5.4 percent in July, as the decline in the rand boosted revenue for exporters.
Factory output rose from a revised 0.5 percent a month earlier, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said on its website today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 12 economists was 1.6 percent. Production (SFPMMOM) increased 5 percent in the month.
“Some exporters have noted the benefits of the weaker rand on export growth,” Kamilla Kaplan, an economist at Investec Ltd. in Johannesburg, said in e-mailed comments before the release of the data.
The rand has declined 15 percent against the dollar this year, the worst performer among the 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg, increasing export revenue. The expansion in factory output, signaled by the nation’s purchasing managers’ index rising to a six-year high in August, may be limited by recent strikes by autoworkers and miners.
The South African Reserve Bank has kept its benchmark repurchase rate unchanged for a year at 5 percent as inflation pressures from the rand prevent it from cutting borrowing costs to stimulate the economy.
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