(Updates with manufacturing data in fourth paragraph.)
Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- South African manufacturing business confidence dropped in the third quarter as domestic demand weakened and export orders fell, the Bureau for Economic Research said.
The index fell to 36 from 51 in the second quarter, the bureau, based at the University of Stellenbosch near Cape Town, said in an e-mailed statement today.
“After improving for two consecutive quarters, demand conditions deteriorated notably” during the quarter, according to the statement. “The rate of growth in domestic sales and order volumes declined sharply, and came in well below what manufacturers had expected.”
Manufacturing output, which makes up 15 percent of the economy, contracted 6 percent in July from a year earlier, the statistics office said on Sept. 8. The South African Reserve Bank has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a 30-year low of 5.5 percent this year.
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