Annual SA manufacturing production surprises by growing 4.6% in April

South Africa's annual manufacturing production increased by 4.6% 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%, the annual growth was far above the projections of analysts, who expected a rise in the region of 1%. 

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% rise. Production increased by 2.8% in April over March. 

Last week, figures released by the Pretoria-based national statistical agency showed that SA's gross domestic product fell by 3.2% in the first three months of the year, its biggest drop in 10 years.