Sunday Times

Factories make less than expected, but jabs are rolling off the line


THE government expects to take delivery of its first 1-million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s commercial­ly produced vaccine in two weeks’ time, said health minister Zweli Mkhize. Combined with supplies expected from Pfizer before the end of April, this will enable it to finish vaccinatin­g health-care workers and move into the next stage of inoculatin­g the over-60s, he said.

THE Internatio­nal Monetary Fund upgraded SA’s growth outlook, though its forecast came with a warning of a long road to recovery for economies that rely on tourism and are behind with vaccinatio­n. Its 3.1% forecast for SA, up from an estimate of 2.8% made in January, is just over half what it expects for the global economy.

JUST a day after announcing plans to raise cash by selling some of its stake in Tencent, Prosus said it had led two funding rounds as the group expands into groceries and health tech.

MANUFACTUR­ING output contracted more than expected in February, extending an almost 21-month decline in production, as structural constraint­s such as power shortages and lack of investment continue to weigh on SA’s economy. Overall factory output decreased an annual 2.1% after a revised 4.2% decline the previous month, Stats SA said.

THE minibus taxi industry, which transports more than 16-million people a day, plans to hike fares for the first time since 2019 to make up for higher petrol prices, potentiall­y dealing a blow to consumer confidence left battered by the economic crisis.

BUSINESS confidence deteriorat­ed slightly in March as SA grappled with the threat of a third wave of Covid-19, according to the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business confidence index, which is still recovering from a record low reached in May 2020.

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