AP Photo/Petr David Josek

Johannesburg – Figures released by Statistics SA show that mining volumes jumped 4.6 percent year-on-year in February.

This was from the 1.4 percent year-on-year gain seen in January – which is typically a lower month due to the annual holiday season – the numbers showed on Thursday.

Production was up 2.9 percent month-on-month but remains negative on a quarterly basis, the stats show.

Despite gold output falling 16.8 percent year-on-year, and coal being down 9.4 percent, iron ore (+20.9 percent), manganese (+15.7 percent) and PGM  (47.2 percent) production rose sharply, more than offsetting an overall decline, FNB Senior Industrial Economist Jason Muscat notes.

Muscat notes the increase is welcome news in a week that has seen poor manufacturing and retail trade sales data.

“Our view remains that better global growth (particularly a stabilisation in China and infrastructure plans in the US) will continue to buoy commodity prices and support production levels in the mining sector.

Read also: Are we heading for a recession?

“Furthermore, the cessation of the drought this year should also provide good growth to the agriculture sector, with the overall primary sector contributing positively to gross domestic product.”