The Johannesburg Stock Exchange has experienced a solid first quarter, aided by the recent drop in oil price. The rand has declined 2.4% against the dollar this year while the stock market has risen 6.1%, reaching new highs in February. The performance resembles little to the economy as the country continues to struggle with an electricity crisis, threatening economic growth.
Manufacturing production contracted for the second consecutive month on a year-on-year basis in February. This important contributor to gross domestic production fell by 0.5%. Conversely, mining production returned to positive growth year on year in February — ending three consecutive months of contraction. Mining production increased sharply by 7.5% in February this year compared with a year ago from a 2.3% contraction in January. This positive increase is notably off a low base created by the strike action last year.
Read more in the document below: