JOHANNESBURG - Mining production growth disappointed in December‚ plunging to 0.1 percent on the previous year, after November’s 6.5 percent and October’s 5.3 percent.
This was a far bigger slowdown than anticipated by economists.
Investec economist Kamilla Kaplan expected mining to moderate to 5.7 percent, while macroeconomics website Trading Economics projected mining output to ease to 3.4%.
Mining appears likely to drag down the fourth quarter’s GDP growth figures‚ which use quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted figures.
Statistics SA reported on Thursday that the three-month seasonally adjusted change for mining was minus 1.7 percent‚ and the month-on-month seasonably adjusted change was minus 3.1 percent.
The mining industry’s best-performing sector was iron ore‚ which grew 15.9 percent in December from the same month in 2016.
Gold production declined 12.4 percent and coal 5.5 percent.
The mining industry’s total sales in current prices came to R41.2-billion in December‚ taking the total for 2017 to R460-billion.