Johannesburg - Growth in South Africa's two key sectors slowed on Thursday, with weak activity renewing fears South Africa may struggle to avoid recession and a downgrade of its debt to junk status by year's end.
Manufacturing output braked to below 1 percent year-on-year while mining output contracted sharply, dousing optimism earlier in the week after second quarter gross domestic product bounced back from a contraction in the first quarter.
Manufacturing slowed to 0.4 percent year-on-year in July, well below expectations of 3 percent after rising by a revised 4.7 percent in June.
Mining output contracted by 5.4 percent in the month from a 3 percent contraction previously, data from Statistics South Africa showed, below expectations of a 1.4 percent contraction.
Production of electrical machinery shrank 13.7 percent, basic iron by 4.9 percent and vehicle production by 3.8 percent, all on a year-on-year basis.