JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s annual manufacturing production increased by 4,6 percent in April, according to data released on Tuesday by Stats SA. 

This is the biggest year-on-year percentage change in the volume of manufacturing production since June 2016. 

At 4,6 percent, the annual growth was far above the projections of analysts, who expected a rise in the region of one percent. 

Stats SA reported that increases in the production of iron and steel, metals and machinery; as well as motor vehicles, parts and accessories contributed to the 4,6 percent rise.

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Production increased by 2,8 percent in April over March. 

Last week, figures released by the Pretoria-based national statistical agency showed that South Africa’s gross domestic product fell by 3,2 percent in the first three months of the year, its biggest drop in 10 years.