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Slow end to sluggish year for manufacturing: Australian PMI

03 January, 2014

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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tommo Oz | Friday, January 10, 2014, 9:50 AM
This country is simply stuffed for manufacturing. I build machinery and export. Export support is woeful and unprofessional, its simply not good enough. Its not just grants , it is so much micro-level help to set up. What are they really doing in those overseas offices. Just go to youtube and view Austrade, Australia unlimited and then go to Taiwantrade. Also visit www.Taiwantrade.com.tw. We have nothing like it. Look how many more views on tawaintrade's youtube channel, in fact over 4 times and set up at the same time as Austrade's http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxzjISa_o5XjXcjULWM2eOw http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3e-KCizPLVDwtPErCShqQg http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWPlj7nCdID0ZBPYunoMovg Their website and youtube channel is not perfect , but they at least show products and services. I get newletters from taiwan trade all the time. This public service is very poor has been doing a mediocre job for the 20 years I have been in business. They will say we want more money, what have they been doing poorly with what they have got for decades. We just don't get it here. 88% of the world live in the Northern hemipshere, they don't think of us for business, we have to fight harder than other areas to get this business and you can see that Austrade does not seem to know how. Do they even understand this reality. Labor between the handouts and the BER wasted more than 45 billion. Do you think if given we now have more than $300 billion in Federal debt, that even 10-20 billion of that 45+ billion wasted applied correctly to industry could have transformed. Does small business the biggest employer needs its own parts of its owners and their employee's We have dumb governments and a lot of dumb voters who don't think enough the issues. Just go to bed tonight and ponder that the massive state and Federal debt from labor has screwed us over for a generation. When polls say labor could almost get in again if an election was held today I ask my fellow Australians to do a "reality check'. Or are we a nation of too many takers and a diminishing number of payers who are getting miffed at present. Plus look at the figures manufacturing contracts and wages grow. In the 23 months when manufacturing what was the overall wages growth. We are Australians are all on the road to a bit of hell