Slow end to sluggish year for manufacturing: Australian PMI
The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) ended 2013 where it was for most of the year - in negative territory.
The latest seasonally adjusted Australian PMI recorded 47.6 in December which was broadly unchanged (down 0.1 point) on the November result and below the 50 point level separating expansion from contraction.
While all the activity indexes remained below 50 in December, across the sub-sectors food and beverages continued to expand (55.8 points, 3 month moving average), as did two of the smaller sub-sectors of wood & paper products (73.1) and printed & recorded media (59.0).
Australian Industry Group chief executive, Innes Willox said: "2013 ended without much cheer for many Australian manufacturers with the gains recorded in September and October reversed in the closing months of the year.
"New orders and employment fell further behind in December casting doubt over whether the start of 2014 will usher in a more positive outlook for manufacturing activity. The sector, and indeed the broader economy, remains stuck behind the eight ball and manufacturing in particular is, as yet, in no position to assume a role in generating alternative sources of growth as the mining boom fades.
"Notwithstanding that interest rates are at low levels and that the Australian dollar appears to be on its way back down to more realistic levels, conditions in the sector remain very tough.
"This latest snapshot is yet another reminder of the urgency for Australia to put itself on a more balanced and diversified growth path. Manufacturing and related industries have a critical part to play in this strategy," Willox said.
Australian PMI: Key Findings for December:
- The latest Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) recorded 47.6 in December - broadly unchanged from the November result of 47.7 (readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity with the distance from 50 indicative of the strength of the decrease)
- Levels of contraction vary between the major indexes in December with employment dipping below 50 points following an expansion in November
- Food and beverages was the only major sub-sector to expand - 55.8
- Production levels improved to 48.6
- Manufacturing exports remain very low with a December reading of 30.1
- Wages grew at a slower pace (54.8)
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