Slow growth in South Africa metals sector a concern - Seifsa

The Steel and Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa) said that slow growth in the metals and engineering sector is cause for concern. The latest production data for November showed only 2% increase in the sector for 2013 compared to 2012.

Henk Langenhoven chief economist of Seifsa said that "The latest production data for the steel and engineering sector released by Statistics SA [Stats SA] follows a pattern that has been established over the last number of years, indicating improvements on the previous year during the first three-quarters of a year and then a relapse during the last quarter."

Compared to 2009, when the global financial crisis crippled several sectors, production levels were up by 15% but below the 25% peak before the meltdown. Confidence levels for growth for 2014, however, were showing a positive trend.

Mr Langenhoven said that "The confidence level is now 128% higher than at the bottom trough of 2009 and only 14% below the peak in 2007. The federation believes that the upturn in confidence levels augers well for real production growth for the steel and engineering sector during 2014."