seifsaEngineering News reports that the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says it is “extremely concerned” about persistently lower confidence and production levels, which could lead to possible further job losses in the metals and engineering sector.  

Seifsa chief economist Henk Langenhoven said on Thursday:  “The metals and engineering sector is probably on a cliff and not at the bottom of a trough.  The first half 2016 data has disappointed.  The latest capacity utilisation data for the sector, as well as the July purchasing managers’ business activity sub-index, do not indicate the bottoming-out of the current contraction experienced by the metals and engineering sector.”  The second quarter of 2016 was better for only the rubber, plastics and basic ferrous sub-industries.  Seifsa expects a 3% year-on-year contraction in production for 2016, which means that job losses are likely to accelerate over the coming months.  “The metals and engineering sector is in a critical condition and it seems more certain that the patient will suffer more setbacks over the next six months before improvements can be expected,” Langenhoven stated.

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