Manufacturing production decreased by 2.4percent year-on-year in September. This was not only lower than the revised number of -1.5percent in August, but was also far off market expectations of a 0.6percent decrease. This weaker performance highlighted the slow-down in economic activity, as it was the fourth consecutive month of negative industrial activity.
Although mining production improved by 0.2percent in September, seasonal adjusted activity in the mining sector had decreased by 1.6percent in the third quarter of 2019 compared with the second quarter of 2019.
Retail sales in September were also disappointing, with an increase of only 0.2percent (year-on-year), much lower than market expectations of a 1.9 percent gain.
These numbers indicate towards a sluggish growth number for gross domestic product (GDP) during the third quarter and confirms the Minister of Finance’s analysis that the economy will grow at about 0.5percent in 2019.