SOUTH African manufacturers were less confident of domestic economic and business conditions in the second quarter of this year, evidenced by an increase of 43% in the number of those reporting poor to fragile business confidence, from 33% the quarter before.
The Manufacturing Circle released its quarterly bulletin on Thursday, which showed that business confidence in the sector was fragile during the second quarter.
The survey was completed by 67 small, medium and large businesses, compared with 49 that participated in the first quarter.
The proportion of surveyed companies that considered business conditions to be stable reached 33% in the second quarter, down from 45% in the first.
"The industry remains more vulnerable than in the previous quarter," said Iraj Abedian, economist and CEO of Pan African Investment and Research Services.
The survey also indicated that the sector was losing jobs momentum, having shed 44,000 jobs in the quarter.
Just more than 60% of surveyed companies reported positive changes to their operating profits and cost of capital. The interest rate reduction last month could also improve manufacturers' cost of capital, according to Mr Abedian.
"Their cost of capital has gone done by half a percent. That makes a difference," he said.
Looking at the next 24 months, most surveyed companies said business confidence was likely to remain stable.
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