Australian manufacturing sector edges into growth

Tuesday, 09 December, 2014

The Australian manufacturing sector has shown some positive signs, experiencing its third consecutive month of improved results and edging narrowly into overall growth, according to November’s Australian Industry Group PMI result.

The seasonally adjusted, survey-based PMI was 50.1 overall, up from 49.4 in October. Any result above 50 indicates growth.

In another encouraging sign, four of eight sub-sectors were in expansion for the month, compared to only two in the previous month. Food, beverage and tobacco went up 2.4 points to 59.1; wood and paper products grew 2.1 to 61.6; textiles, clothing and footwear improved 7.3 to 54.4; and non-metallic mineral products grew 5.0 points to 50.2.

The Ai Group’s chief executive, Innes Willox, said that, though the growth was only very slight, the signs of resilience were welcome in conditions that remain difficult.

He said there were positives, such as the increased demand from residential construction and decreases in both energy costs and the Australian dollar.

“That said, respondents to the Australian PMI noted substantial headwinds with the steep decline in mining investment and the impending closure of Australian automotive assembly stifling business sentiment and the appetite for investment,” said Willox in a statement.

“Businesses also noted that the still-strong Australian dollar continues to support intense import competition,” he said.

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