South Africa's manufacturing production declined for the first time in three months in March, though at a slightly slower-than-expected pace, figures from Statistics South Africa showed on Thursday.
Manufacturing output fell 0.8 percent annually in March, reversing a 0.7 percent rise in February. Economists had forecast a 0.9 percent decrease.
The negative contributions to the annual fall were largely driven by manufacture of motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment, by 11.3 percent, and food and beverages, by 2.6 percent.
Meanwhile, manufacturing output rebounded a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent monthly in March, following a 1.5 percent fall in the previous month. The expected rate of rise was 1.4 percent.
In the three months to March, manufacturing production rose 4.7 percent from the previous three months.