File: A worker makes car parts at a factory. AFP/STR
JOHANNESBURG - A gauge reflecting the health of the manufacturing sector has plunged by a record margin.
The sector was hit by a double whammy in July with tighter lockdown restrictions and the recent looting unrest.
The Absa purchasing managers’ index which reflects manufacturing sentiment fell from 57 points to 43 points in July.
The riots disrupted supply chains, industrial output and demand for manufactured goods, the survey showed.
At the same time, the manufacturing sector -- which contributes about 13 percent to GDP -- was disrupted by the recent cyberattack on Transnet which temporarily halted port activity.