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Thursday, August 7, 2008

South Africa Manufacturing Up 6.1% In June

South African manufacturing increased an annual 6.1 percent in June after output of oil products, such as gasoline, rebounded from a drop in the same month last year when some refineries were shut, the statistics office said. Factory production rose from a revised 1.1 percent in May, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said today. The jump in manufacturing, which accounts for 16 percent of the economy, may be temporary as six interest rate increases since June last year curb consumer spending on furniture and cars, and higher oil prices boost business costs.

Factory output climbed in June after production of oil products jumped an annual 31 percent, as compare with a 21 percent drop in the same month last year when some refineries were shut because of maintenance, the statistics office said. Production of food and beverages rose an annual 13.8 percent in June, up from 2.2 percent in May, it added.

Higher interest rates have slashed spending on cars, with sales dropping an annual 19.7 percent in July, the 16th consecutive monthly decline, an industry body said on Aug. 4. Retail sales fell for the third straight month in May, sliding 3.6 percent from a year ago, the statistics office said on July 16.

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