South Africa’s Productivity Statistics for the year 2013 have been released, and they show a mixed bag of performances in various key industrial sectors of the economy.
The main economic sectors include construction, mining and quarrying, finance, insurance and real estate business, government services and agriculture, fishing and forestry.
In the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector, there was an increase in the real output growth rate of 2.2% in 2013. The increase occurred despite a decrease in labour productivity growth rate of -6.8% in 2013.
Sectors that suffered a dip include electricity, gas and water. In 2012 and 2013, these sectors were under pressure and this was reflected in the productivity indicators.
The Chief Economist at Productivity SA, Keneuoe Mosoang, said the release of the stats was key in understanding how an improvement in productivity in the private and public sectors can help spur economic growth, with benefits such as job creation and improved service delivery from government.
“A few sectors of the economy have performed well, with the mining sector yielding a growth rate of 3.1% in 2013. The increase occurred despite a decrease in labour productivity growth rate of -6.8 percent in 2013,” Mosoang said.
Overall, a forecast for the 2013 data indicates that out of 20 manufacturing sub-sectors, seven sub sectors demonstrated declining productivity indicators (labour, capital and multifactor productivity) rates.
Fifty percent of the-sub sectors, which include glass and glass products, wood and wood products and printing, among others, showed positive growth rates in all three productivity indicators.
However, the only sub-sectors which showed improvement in output were printing, publishing and recorded media and basic chemicals.
“It is comforting that the motor vehicles, parts and accessories sub-sector, which has been the main driver of the manufacturing sector, still experienced positive growth, with productivity indicators still showing strong growth – even though the growth rates on investment, coupled with the return on investment, declined,” said Mosoang.